A will for wildlife

07 September 2021 | Posted in Support Sussex Wildlife Trust
A will for wildlife
Sarah Hamblin

By Gemma Pratt

Legacy & In Memory Gifts Officer

Legacy gifts, large or small, make an invaluable contribution to our work in so many ways, and one recent gift has even resulted in an expansion of our livestock herd!

The family of Basil and Rona Pawson, from Seaford, decided to make a charitable gift from their share of their parents’ estate. Known as a Deed of Variation, this mechanism enables beneficiaries in a Will to re-direct their inheritance. The Pawson family contacted us to discuss a potential gift, hoping that we might be able to identify a project with special meaning for their late parents, who loved the Sussex countryside, and Seaford Head in particular.

As a result of the Pawson family’s generosity we are delighted to have welcomed eight new

Sussex cattle to our livestock herd, to graze at Seaford Head and other locations. They are already working hard, alongside the rest of the Land Management team to keep our reserves in the best condition possible for wildlife. These new cattle will also become part of a breeding programme at the Trust, and so this legacy will continue to benefit the Trust for years to come.

Grazing is an important tool for managing many kinds of habitat. We use a variety of traditional breeds of cattle, sheep and ponies, which all graze and browse in slightly different ways to help create the desired outcome on our reserves.

At Ebernoe Common, we use cattle to keep the wood pasture areas open, improving conditions for flowers and invertebrates. Some of our wet meadows are grazed during late summer and autumn to ensure conditions are just right for breeding waders during the following spring and summer. On chalk grassland sites such as Malling Down, grazing helps to control scrub and keep the turf short,

producing flower-rich grassland and creating perfect conditions for butterflies such as the silver-spotted skipper and the stunning Adonis blue.

The vast majority of our legacy gifts are unrestricted, meaning that we can direct them wherever the need is greatest at the time. This could be for land acquisition, the management of our nature reserves, or any other area of our work in protecting the wildlife and wild places of Sussex. If you would like to discuss how a gift in your Will might help Sussex Wildlife Trust, or for any other legacy enquiries, please contact Gemma Pratt on [email protected] or 01273 497 566.

For more information please visit our legacy page: https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/legacy

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