Over 100 people, including staff, Trustees and members, joined us at Sheffield Hallam University last month for a look back at the 2017-18 year at our Annual General Meeting.
The event was so popular that we had to move it to a larger venue to accomodate everyone – and thank you to everyone who braved the adverse weather to come along and celebrate the year with us. If you’d like to read more about what we’ve achieved together over the last year, download our 2017-18 Annual Review here.
Patrick Barkham’s (Guardian journalist and author of Badgerlands) talk was fascinating and inspiring, and his enthusiasm for badgers was clear. At a time when the Trust is working hard to prevent a badger cull in South Yorkshire, his discussion about alternatives that could solve the problem of bovine TB in cattle made the perfect launching pad for our Badger Appeal. We’re hoping to raise enough funds to begin rolling out a badger vaccination programme and work with farmers and other landowners in our area to improve biosecurity.
“I really enjoyed hearing more about the work of Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust at their AGM, and meeting some of your members and staff. Sheffield is a unique place for urban nature – and wild nature – and it is currently facing a formidable constellation of threats. Rather than feel despair, everyone seems to be getting active, and working positively to protect and restore the region’s treasures, and repair our relationship with them at the same time. I hope you feel proud of yourselves!
“The badger appeal is the latest example of your positive local action. It is so important to offer hard-pressed farmers a way out of the muddle over bovine TB that doesn’t involve simply shooting badgers. Too often us conservationists stand and lecture farmers but we would be wise to follow your example and offer them help, support and practical solutions to better manage the wildlife they are custodians of. If you can support Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s Badger Appeal in any way, please do.”
At the formal proceedings of the AGM we welcomed two new Trustees to the Board – Niel Stewart and Daragh O’Reilly – both bringing valuable skills and experience to the Trust. Mark Ridler stepped up to Vice Chair and Christopher Pennell MBE remains as our Chair.
Niel brings experience of the private and public sectors as well as having run his own photography business and has previously been a trustee of a housing charity. Daragh has extensive experience in line, consultancy, educational and governance roles. He has served as non-executive director, and is currently Chair, of Wildscapes. You can find out more about all of our Trustees here.
Excitingly, we also welcomed our first ever Patron in naturalist, writer and broadcaster Mike Dilger. Mike is an ecologist and natural history TV presenter and is probably best known for being the wildlife reporter on the BBC programme The One Show. Mike has Sheffield roots on his dad’s side and spent an extensive period working in Vietnam, Tanzania and Ecuador as a field biologist, before returning to the UK.
We also said thank you to our three departing Trustees: David Bird, Alice Puritz and Claire Lea, who have all made such important contributions to the Trust’s work during their time on the Board.