By David Mortimer
Sussex Wildlife Trust volunteer and legacy pledger
What I love about the Sussex countryside is its extraordinary diversity. From chalk heathland to wetland sites, from the High Weald to more or less everything else in between, it really does seem to have everything. Our county is a migration route for wildlife, and also a migration destination due to its proximity to the continent, so we see some fascinating species in the landscapes around us.
I’m interested in every aspect of wildlife, and the extraordinary chain of life. As Sussex Wildlife Trust often points out, it’s no good focusing on individual species or sites, you have to think about the connections to allow wildlife to spread and breed, and diversity will follow from that.
I originally got involved with the Trust when it was setting up the Volunteer Hit Squad. Working on sites around the county I became a great admirer of their work. The leadership has a combination of tremendous perspective, political nous and energy that is admirable, which all helps to encourage an extraordinary array of staff and volunteers. Their dedication is having such an impact for the good. As I admire their work and share their values I decided to leave the Trust a gift in my Will – nothing huge, since I’ve never had large sums to dispense, but something to help realise their ambitions.
As things stand, Sussex Wildlife Trust is the only charity I’ve left any money to, although that may change in the future, of course. I have no doubt they’ll use my legacy well. Perhaps to help fund the acquisition of a piece of land that fits into the jigsaw of building a living landscape; perhaps to help fund the growth of one of their collaborative partnerships, for example with the farming community. It really is up to them, but I know they’ll use the money well however they choose to spend it.
I’d encourage anyone else who is interested in our local landscape to leave a legacy to Sussex Wildlife Trust. We really do need to improve the balance between the natural world and human beings. If we can’t reign ourselves back a little we’ll lose that balance irretrievably. The Trust is working remarkably well to redress the balance, and I know that my gift will help them achieve a lasting impact in years to come.