Doar lands national role with The Wildlife Trusts

Wednesday 2nd November 2011

Nigel DoarNigel Doar

After 10 years championing people and wildlife in Sheffield and Rotherham, Nigel Doar, is set to spread his support to all 47 Wildlife Trusts in the UK - in his new role as Head of Development.

Nigel, who has been Chief Executive of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust since YEAR, will work with senior funding bodies, encouraging them to invest in The Wildlife Trusts’ vision for A Living Landscape as well as helping the movement to inspire more people to engage with nature.

Nigel describes the ambitions for his new job: “Nationally we need to have a greater understanding of how wildlife benefits people; how we can change the way we work and how we can prioritise spending to deliver more engaging activities and restore more natural places.”

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Nigel has already made a very real contribution to The Wildlife Trusts through a secondment last year. We are delighted he will now be able to dedicate himself full time to the national cause. He will be working with our central team to help build the capacity of Wildlife Trusts to work for nature throughout the UK. Nigel comes with a fantastic track record built up at the Sheffield and Scottish Wildlife Trusts.”

Nigel has been at the Wildlife Trust in Sheffield for 13 years and has seen many changes in that time. From a tiny urban wildlife trust, he has seen it grow and mature: Green Estate and River Stewardship Company have both been set up and established.
Achieving a Green Flag Award at Wyming Brook has been a proud moment.

The purchase of Greno Woods has been one of his latest challenges: “I would love to think that I had play a part in helping the Trust to secure Greno Woods for future generations” said Nigel. “I believe we can make it a truly valuable place for all users and for wildlife.”

Nigel’s leadership and ideas over the last 13 years have inspired staff at the Trust to transform neglected places into spectacular oases of nature. For example, staff have been instrumental in some amazing improvements at: Cookson Park, Bus Meadows Park, Wolf Road Playground, Parson Cross, Tongue Gutter, Weston Park and Norfolk Heritage Park. They have also been involved with refurbishing landscapes such as at Black Bank on East Bank Road and at Jervis Lumb.

The following is an extract from Nigel’s farewell missive in the members’ newsletter, Kingfisher:

It’s the end of another year; the leaves are falling and the natural world gathers its resources ready for another annual blooming in the Spring. With some sadness, this will be my last contribution to Kingfisher magazine, as after 13 years, I am moving on.

I can at least look back on a great Summer and draw pleasure from it. Our membership has continued to grow and is now nearing 5,300 – a far cry from the fewer than 100 members we had when I first arrived here. This is surely a clear sign that the people of Sheffield value their local natural world and the things that the Wildlife Trust does to protect and enhance it. I hope this trend will continue long into the future, as the natural environment in and around Sheffield deserves and needs all the support it can get.

We have also continued to look after some of Sheffield’s finest areas of natural land from the Pennine Moors to the North Sea. When I arrived, SWT had an informal role in the management of a handful of small sites. Now, we look after more than 1,000 acres of land and have just extended our nature reserve at Fox Hagg, working towards linking it to Wyming Brook. And this Summer, Wyming Brook became our first reserve to be recognised independently for the quality of its management as a destination for people, when it was awarded a Green Flag.

We have also started to lay the foundations for the future – we have been working steadily towards achieving our goal of buying Greno Woods and making it one of the best places in Yorkshire to experience nature and to receive the benefits from it. We have already secured more than £450,000 towards our target, and only need another £120,000 to complete the purchase of the biggest part of the wood.

I won’t be here to see the completion of all these great things, but I look forward to celebrating in the future as the Trust’s fantastic staff, volunteers, trustees, members and friends pull together to make our local patch as good as it can be for both people and wildlife. They will no doubt achieve things I haven’t even dreamt of. I will always be thankful for my time here in Sheffield and for the support and energy that has made SWT the distinctive force for nature that it is. Thank you, good luck, and au-revoir!