It will support the trust with help in its efforts to build a Nature Recovery Network across Somerset and engage with local communities, helping them to develop the skills and expertise needed to take the long-term lead in caring for their local areas and the wildlife that call them home.
The co-op’s sustainability director Gemma Lacey said: “We’re delighted to support Somerset Wildlife Trust in its dedicated efforts to help protect Somerset’s wildlife and landscapes for generations to come. The trust’s goals, to inspire people to take positive action for wildlife, reverse biodiversity loss and tackle the climate crisis, is perfectly in line with our values.
“Somerset Wildlife Trust joins a host of other trusts we already support including Devon, Dorset, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, and Sussex. By working with these groups, we can support our sustainability goals to create space for wildlife, support nature recovery and help people benefit from a healthy, natural environment.”
Katie Arber, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s director of fundraising and marketing, said: “By working with businesses who share our concern for the environment, we can create a brighter future for the natural world.
“It’s exciting to join forces with an organisation built on celebrating community, with a long-standing vision to make a difference in the local communities it supports, including here in Somerset.”
The move comes after Southern’s recent receipt of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.
Presening the award last month, Nigel Atkinson, the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, said: “I had no idea Southern Co-op was formed in Portsmouth in 1873. At that time, it was set up in response to societal change. It was a business to help people help themselves. Sadly some of these issues still remain today and I’m pleased to see Southern Co-op is still here helping people.
“Of course there are other challenges now with the changing climate and declining wildlife and your response comes through very strongly. It’s a great business. I am very pleased to read your values and being customer focused is clearly in your DNA.”