Coronavirus

Coronavirus update

23rd September 2020

We are pleased to announce that our Westport Lake Visitor Centre is now open from 10am-3pm daily

Entry will be through the main doors and the exit via side balcony door (we are operating a one way system).

The toilets are also now open for the use of our cafe customers only.

We have a small number of tables inside and outside on the balcony (weather permitting) for cafe customers to use 

We will be asking for track and trace details in compliance with Covid-19 precautions. 

All customers will be required to wear a mask on entry and exit until seated at a table.

We will be offering a limited menu  and look forward to seeing you 

7th September 2020

We are expanding our offering at our Wolseley Centre Kingfisher Cafe!

We now have tables indoors set up safely for social distancing and will be operating track and trace in compliance with Covid-19 precautions.

You can join us daily from 10am till 3.30pm

We have also extended our menu (although it is still limited) to include Breakfast sandwiches, Toasted paninis, Jacket Potatoes and Homemade Soup

We hope to see you soon!

7th August 2020

We are pleased to announce that our Westport Lake Visitor Centre cafe will be open from Tuesday 11th August

The takeaway cafe will be open 10am to 3pm daily

There will be a limited menu of sandwiches, cakes, hot and cold drinks as well as ice creams available 

There will be no toilet facilities on site 

As we ask customers to please wear masks at all times 

For further info, please contact us at info@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or contact us us via the centre's Facebook page or Twitter

30th July 2020

We are excited to announce that our face to face People Engagement programme is set to resume in August. You can find out more about this here and see our upcoming planned events here 

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Coronavirus update 15th July 2020

We are pleased to announce we’re reopening our Leek and Penkridge charity shops for two days a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9.30am-4.30pm (Leek) and 9.30am-4pm (Penkridge) following closure due to COVID 19.

Thank you to everyone for their support and patience during this time. We’ll only be allowing six people in the shop at any one time to ensure your safety, and will be advising customers to wash their hands with the hand wash provided on entry to the shop.

We know plenty of people have been sorting through their houses during lockdown, and have items to donate! Our shops rely on the generous donations from members from the public, including clothes, DVDS, books, CDs and games. Anyone who wishes to donate should call the shops on 01538 398989 (Leek) or 01785 847261 (Penkridge).

Our revised charity shop opening hours can be found here

Our Westport Lake Visitor Centre remains closed for now, but we’re working towards getting it reopen sooner rather than later. Thank you for your patience.

Coronavirus update 1st July 2020

As of the 1st July our Wolseley Centre grounds are now open daily 9am-4pm. Please note that the centre itself and toilets remain closed however we have installed portaloos onsite. The Kingfisher cafe is open 10am-3pm Monday to Sunday with a limited takeaway menu on offer including hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and ice creams (The queue for the café, which will close at 3pm, will be at the rear of the building. If you are planning to visit the site, please read about the centre changes here

Our Westport Lake Visitor Centre and charity shops remain closed and our events and activities remain cancelled.

Updates on our nature reserves can be found here www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/reserves

If you want to get in touch about membership please email member@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or find out more about joining here https://join.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/Join-Online

For press enquires please contact Jon Owen, Press and Social Media Officer, j.owen@staffs-wildlife.org.uk.

For general enquires please email at info@staffs-wildlife.org.uk or contact us on Facebook

Coronavirus update - 2nd June 2020

Here in Staffordshire, we’re extremely blessed with beautiful scenery and green spaces, including wild open moorland, woodlands, wildflower meadows and wetlands.

We manage or own 30 nature reserves across the length and breadth of Staffordshire. While we are always keen for as many people as possible to explore the great outdoors, we also want to balance that out by ensuring the safety of visitors to our reserves and nearby green spaces, especially during this difficult time.

Over the past week, we have seen a huge number of visitors to many of our sites, making social distancing measures much more difficult on reserves and nearby areas.

At several sites, parking has especially been a problem, with many vehicles parking on narrow lanes and at the side of the road, making it difficult or impossible for emergency service or larger vehicles to access.

Another problem has been the increase in fire risk, as a result of the warm and dry weather during the past few weeks. Recently, we have seen dozens of firefighters working through the night to bring a huge grass fire under control at Cannock Chase, as well as a grass fire at Wetley Moor Common in Stoke-on-Trent. We want to urge everyone to be extra vigilant if they are out and about on reserves, refraining from using disposable barbecues (a picnic is much safer!) and not discarding cigarettes. The damage done to the environment and wildlife as a result of these fires is heart-breaking to see and experience.

Our Conservation team has also had to sort out several cases of fly-tipping and graffiti at our reserves, which has put them at risk and meant their time has been taken up sorting this out during the day.

During this time, and until we are all safe to do so, we would encourage you to visit local green spaces close to your home only, and where possible not travel too far afield. You can find out your closest nature reserve by visiting www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/reserves

This won’t last forever, and while we always want to encourage you to get outside to explore out county, we also want to ensure people are safe when doing so – both you, our visitors, and our staff and volunteers. Stay local, and stay safe.

Thank you once again for your continued support and patience,

Julian Woolford, Chief Executive, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Coronavirus update - 13th May 2020

The messages of support we have received during the past two months have been a great source of strength to everyone at our charity during this challenging time, and we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you.

Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday evening, we’d like to give you an update on our plans for our nature reserves, visitor centres, charity shops and events programme.

We are eager to get everything open and back up and running as quickly as possible so people can enjoy nature, wildlife and the great outdoors, but the health and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers and visitors remains our priority as does the protection and conservation of our wildlife. Returning from lockdown will not be an easy thing to do and we have been consulting widely with many different partners and local bodies about how best to do it.

Following the Government's updated advice, we will, therefore, be taking a phased approach to re-opening our nature reserves to ensure our visitors, local communities and staff are safe, as well as wildlife protected. 

We understand lots of people will be keen to get to get to our reserves and other beauty spots further afield, but we encourage those thinking about travelling out to the countryside to consider that many car parks and visitor facilities may not yet be open at the moment and that many are in remote, rural locations where we must take into consideration the health and well-being of local communities. We would advise therefore that you do not travel long distances to our reserves at the present time.

We will update the list of reserve car parks which are open or closed in due course on this page, so please keep checking back for an updated list.

 The grounds, cafe, shop and offices  at Wolseley Bridge, our cafe at Westport Lake, and our charity shops in Leek and Penkridge, will remain closed until at least the end of June. 

We have also taken the decision to cancel all our events and activities up until the end of June, and we will be monitoring and making decisions on how we can get things up and running again afterwards.

We would urge you to keep checking back to our website and social media channels for updates on when we reopen our centres, shops and restart our events programme.

This remains an extremely challenging time for us all, and here at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is no different. We will continue to update you regularly about our plans, but in the meantime please follow all Government advice, and stay safe.

If you have any questions, the best ways to get in touch are via email (info@staffs-wildlife.org.uk) or through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/StaffsWildlife). You can also leave a voicemail on 01889 880100 and we will respond as soon as we can.    

Julian Woolford
Chief Executive, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Coronavirus update - 9th April 2020

We'd like to say a heartfelt thank-you for all the messages of support we’ve received from our members and supporters after outlining some of the tough decisions we've had to make since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (link to last statement here).

It is an extremely difficult time for each and every one of us, and as a charity, we are facing new obstacles each day which we are doing our best to overcome.

In the past week, we have made the decision to furlough 70% of staff to protect jobs and the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in the future. In situations like this, you realise how vital our members, supporters, and the public are in helping us generate funds for our work: with our visitor centres, cafes, shops and charity shops closed, our education activities and events on hold, and our face to face recruitment at a standstill, we faced no choice but to furlough staff to survive.

We are constantly reviewing the situation and want all staff back to normal as quickly as possible. But for now, the Government's furloughing scheme enables us to ensure the Trust remains in the healthiest position possible when the tide turns and things start getting back to normal. That will ensure the future of the Trust for the benefit of wildlife.

In the meantime, please be assured that all of us who are still working are doing our very best to look after wildlife and wild places across our county as best we can while lockdown restrictions remain in place.

The government guidance relating to the current lockdown has severely curtailed a lot of outdoor delivery work such as monitoring, survey and some practical conservation works. But we have been able to continue our vital work with local authorities and partners to complete the Nature Recovery Network of Staffordshire, respond to planning applications and input to statutory consultations. Crucially we continue to care for our nature reserves.

We are also currently using the time afforded to us by the lockdown period to reschedule and plan which areas of work can be revived later in the year, once the conditions have eased.

We’re also adapting some of our education offerings so that they can work in the virtual world and hope to be able to share these more widely soon.

If you follow us on social media, either on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, we're posting daily images, ideas and news which you're hopefully enjoying. We hope they bring a little bit of nature into your lives.

Thank you for your kindness and support during this time. Please keep well and stay safe.

Julian Woolford
Chief Executive, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Coronavirus update - 23rd March

In line with the most recent Government advice, our Chief Executive would like to update our members, supporters and customers on the measures we are taking and what they mean when contacting Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Dear Members and supporters ,

I hope you are well and staying safe in these difficult times.

The coronavirus pandemic means we are facing a major and unprecedented challenge which is affecting all corners of the world. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is no exception, and I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the measures our charity has taken this past week.

Before I do, though, I’d like to reiterate how grateful we are to you for being a member of our charity and helping support wildlife and nature across Staffordshire. We say it many times, but only because it’s true – our work literally wouldn’t be possible without you. During the coming weeks and months, please be rest assured that we’ll continue to do all we can under the circumstances to carry out our vitally important conservation work in our beautiful county. Your membership during the next few months will be more important than ever.

These are extremely difficult times for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust as they are for everyone else. We have taken action to keep our staff and volunteers safe and well, with many working from home and most volunteering work on hold.

We have made the difficult decision to close our visitor centres at Wolseley and Westport until further notice due to the ongoing concerns about coronavirus. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but a necessary one to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff. Our Wolseley Centre grounds also closed to members of the public from Monday, 23 rd March.

The Government's scientists have been clear on the need to avoid social contact with others and not to travel unnecessarily. We have closed all reserve car parks with barriers and urge anyone considering visiting outdoor spaces not to make journeys unless it is absolutely essential, to think about visiting alternative green spaces closer to home, and follow Government advice on social distancing at all times.

We have also taken the step to cancel all our events and engagement sessions for the next few weeks, at least until April 14th , to help people keep safe. This will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The opening of our charity shop in Codsall will be delayed and a new opening date announced in due course. We are also closing our other charity shops for the
duration of the pandemic.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and if anything changes, in line with Government advice, we’ll inform you accordingly through social media, on our website or via email.

During this time of difficulty and uncertainty, we want to remind people that we need nature now more than ever. It can lift all of our spirits and put joy in our hearts – something we desperately need right now.

We rely on nature to provide us with the calm in life we need. The bluebells will still begin to emerge. The birds will still sing. The eggs will still hatch.

While we may not be able to get out as much these next few weeks as much as we’d like, we'll still post wonderful wildlife images and nature news to hopefully keep your spirits high through our social media channels (@StaffsWildlife). Already our posts have been seen by thousands of people since last week, and if you don’t follow us on social media, we would urge you to do so to get a dose of nature images and news.

If you have any questions, the best ways to get in touch are via email (info@staffs-wildlife.org.uk) or through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/StaffsWildlife). You can also leave a voicemail on 01889 880100 and we will respond as soon as we can.

Thank you so much for your continued support. Everyone at the Trust appreciates the contribution you make to our charity and helping make us the county’s largest nature conservation charity.

Julian Woolford

CEO Staffordshire Wildlife Trust