CRT Friends are at the heart of everything we do. Their generosity allows us to support a thriving, working countryside brimming with native wildlife. Here are 10 reasons how your Friendship can make a difference:

1. Join a like-minded community

Friends of the CRT are all passionate about regenerating our countryside for the benefit of future generations. That means reversing declines in biodiversity, supporting British-grown food, advocating sustainable agricultural practices, and connecting people from all walks of life with that journey. Joining the CRT as a Friend means you are becoming part of something bigger.

2. Teach our children well

The CRT’s Mosaic educational initiative for primary school children is reconnecting children with nature and the countryside. Based at Pierrepont Farm, Surrey and aligned to the curriculum, the programme is going from strength to strength with children from reception age to year 6 enjoying countryside experiences from woodland activities to pond dipping whilst understanding how farms work. 

3. Make health and wellbeing accessible to all

Medical research evidences how important access to the countryside and natural spaces is for public wellbeing. The more authentic such experiences are – the greater the wellbeing. At the heart of the CRT is a vision to reconnect people with food production and farming. Most CRT farms are already accessible by public footpaths and bridleways, and we are enhancing visitor experiences with improved signage and interpretation boards explaining what wildlife visitors might see and how to protect nature under the Countryside Code. 

4. The Lark magazine – a beacon of hope

Sometimes we all need a beacon of hope, and CRT’s The Lark magazine is one of the most highly regarded conservation organisation publications in the UK. Brimming with wildlife success stories, regenerative farming best practices and conservation ideas for your own garden with contributions from the whole CRT team, The Lark also features special guest interviews. CRT Friends receive two 44-page editions a year. 

5. Help boost rural economies

Throughout the year, the CRT hosts many events including guided wildlife walks, talks, courses and artisan fairs to help enrich communities and boost local rural economies. All CRT Friends receive invitations to open days and discounted prices on ticketed events.

6. Help British farmland birds

There are many bird species such as grey partridge, yellowhammer, corn bunting, lapwing and fieldfare that have been associated with farming in the British Isles for millennia. Over-intensification and loss of mixed farming practices has been a major contributing factor in catastrophic declines in many of these once common bird species. By applying regenerative farming practices that create habitats for wildlife, CRT farms are bearing witness to some extraordinary recoveries. At Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire, we have seen a four-fold increase in grey partridges and the return of lapwings. At Bere Marsh Farm in Dorset, CRT’s renovation of a dilapidated outbuilding saw barn owls returning to breed and providing an astonishing opportunity to see them quartering over the fields in search of prey. 

7. Help regenerate native hedgerows

The UK has lost the equivalent of 118,000 miles of native hedgerow. Native hedgerows are essential safe havens providing a bounty of food sources for an astonishing assemblage of wildlife such as the endangered Hazel Dormouse. The CRT has twice hosted the National Hedge laying Championship. With the financial help of our Friends and amazing volunteers, we are not only improving existing hedgerows but planting new ones at all our properties and encouraging neighbouring farmers to do the same on a wider landscape scale. 

8. Help regenerate meadows

In the last 60 years, the UK has lost 97% of its hay meadows and since 1945, 90% of lowland semi-natural grassland including water meadows and flood plains. With your support the CRT is championing and advocating regenerative farming practices. This includes delaying the cutting of meadows until mid July to optimize flower seeding and protect ground nesting birds, seeding meadows with improved floral assemblages to attract more native insect species, and permanently reinstating field margins to provide year-round food, cover and safe havens for all manner of native wildlife to thrive.

9. Help scientific research

Science and community engagement is so important in evidencing outcomes. Our wildlife monitoring team and volunteers undertake surveys on our farms including collaboration with other respected conservation organisations. This is essential in better understanding how positive habitat management intervention is helping to recover key species such as water vole, hazel dormouse and grey partridge. Generous support helps the CRT cover the costs of such research and specialist equipment such as moth traps, bat detectors and insect sweep nets.   

10. Help control invasive species

Non-native invasive species cost the UK economy £2.2 billion each year. Nowhere is this better shown than the plight of our native water vole - immortalized as “Ratty” in Kenneth Grahame’s – Wind in the Willows. Collaboratively, the CRT team have been at the forefront of a successful American mink eradication programme in East Anglia that has borne witness to water vole re-colonizing water courses where they had been absent for decades. The CRT have an ambition to roll out similar programmes in other locations in the UK and our Friends will help us to achieve this. 


Click here for more information or to join today!