CLIF, the maker of CLIF BAR Energy Bars, has pledged its support to National Parks UK for the second year running, funding vital nature initiatives across the UK.
The partnership will see CLIF fund another five conservation projects in National Parks throughout 2020, across England, Scotland and Wales. The initiatives carried out will include bat protection, repairing rivers, studying wood ants and training volunteer conservation graduates.
CLIF and National Parks UK first teamed up in 2019 with the ‘National Parks Protectors’ partnership, which saw CLIF fund a number of initiatives in all 15 National Parks; this included the surveying of 25 miles of Pembrokeshire Coast path in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to identify key spots to improve connectivity and habitat opportunities, as well as the installation of a bug hotel bike stand in The Broads, to name a couple.
CLIF has a long history of supporting environmental projects in the U.S. and Canada, and the renewal of this partnership demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting nature in the UK. In addition to selling a range of energy bars to support active lifestyles, CLIF is passionate about protecting the places in which its consumers seek every day adventure and to the communities in which they live and work. In addition to funding the projects, CLIF also donated thousands of CLIF BARs to Park visitors, volunteers and staff
As with the fund in 2019, all 15 of the UK’s National Parks will benefit in 2020, with those not running a special project still receiving a grant to support their choice of conservation work during the year.
Catherine Hawkins, Chair of National Parks Partnerships said:
“Everyone’s connection to nature seems stronger than ever in recent months, and the need to protect our National Parks has not gone away. That's why CLIF's support comes at a crucial time. We couldn't be happier to start a second year of NPP with them.”
David Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at Clif Bar Europe, said:
“At CLIF, we are purpose-led and are committed sustaining our people, community, planet, brands and business. Last year we brought these values to the UK with the National Parks partnership and are tremendously proud of what we achieved. We are confident that the additional projects, supported through the UK National Parks Protectors Fund, will help ensure that these outstanding landscapes are available for generations to visit and enjoy.”
This 12-month project will engage local people with their local wildlife, helping them understand what it is and how important it is to their daily lives. The programme will offer a series of seasonally-themed identification courses across a number of communities, geographic sites and habitat types in the National Park including such topics as bumble bees, fungi, tree and bird identification. Within these sessions, participants will be familiarised with the use of easy-to-use recording apps to store their findings with local recording centres.
Ultimately the project aims are two-fold: to engage local people with their local environment so that they connect sufficiently to wish to look after it in the future and to train up the next generation of recorders, people who can identify wildlife and pass that knowledge on to others.
Julian Atkins, Chief Executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said:
“The Brecon Beacons National Park has developed a Nature Recovery Action Plan with our partners and CLIF’s support will get us that bit further in supporting local people to be a part of nature recovery, and to do so in the long term as nature recovery needs a long term effort”.
The Cairngorms National Park is a UK stronghold for the narrow-headed ant, a close relative of the wood ants and an endangered species. The climate emergency and changing forestry practices are happening too quickly for populations to disperse naturally to woodland edges and clearings, their preferred habitat. Working at the National Trust for Scotland Mar Lodge Estate we propose to captive breed narrow-headed ants to supplement the existing threatened population and move nests to alternative locations improve their resilience to change.
In addition to the translocation at Mar Lodge Estate, we will also improve our knowledge of other wood ants species throughout the rest of Deeside. This will involve mapping suitable habitat and core populations and survey work to identify areas where forest connectivity for wood ants can be improved.
Grant Moir, Chief Executive of Cairngorms National Park Authority said:
“The Cairngorms National Park is home to 25% of the UK’s most threatened species, a key area of our work is to improve the conservation status of threatened or declining species through the Cairngorms Nation Action Plan. Woods ants are a priority species listed in the plan and this support from CLIF will enable us to focus our efforts so that we can be in a stronger position to protect and conserve this species on a much wider scale”.
The Conservation Volunteer project will provide practical support for conservation work along with skills, mentoring and training for conservation graduates who have attained their degree but lack applied and field skills. Through this scheme and in partnership with the Woodland Trust and Natural England, the National Park Authority will host two 1 year Graduate Conservation Volunteers.
The Volunteers will deliver a range of practical conservation including vegetation monitoring,
management of rhos pasture (for butterflies), heathland management, habitat enhancement
for moorland birds and management of ancient woodland. In return the Volunteers would each have a tailored training programme including key vocational qualifications alongside mentoring and support from DNPA and partner organisation’s staff.
Kevin Bishop, CEO of Dartmoor National Park Authority said:
Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Chief Executive Kevin Bishop said: “Spending time in the natural environment is really important for mental and physical health; it can help us feel happier and more energised. For many people, nature has been a source of comfort and enjoyment during the covid-19 pandemic.
“The current pandemic has reshaped how many people see nature and their place in it, and this funding from CLIF will help us develop the skills of future environmental custodians and support their learning in protecting and preserving Dartmoor’s unique and special habitats and wildlife.”
This project will improve and protect riverbanks, water quality and the spawning grounds for important fish species in the River Goil, located in the Argyll Forest section of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Working with local partners and the local community, this work will ensure the habitat is in good condition for fish to breed and river banks are safe for fishing access which is an essential part of guaranteeing the river remains a focus for both the local community and visitors.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said
“Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has 92 river and loch water bodies that fall completely or partially within its boundaries. This second year of funding from CLIF will allow us to continue protecting the important habitats around the River Goil both for the fish who breed in the river and for people to continue enjoying safe access for walking and fishing. Investment in important conservation projects like this is much appreciated and we thank CLIF for seeing the potential in this important work”
Small and Tall will develop a deeper knowledge of key bat populations in the River Rye catchment area, including greater understanding of the nationally rare Alcathoe bat, to protect bat species and to inform habitat management including that of ancient trees to enable the Rye’s bats to move freely through the landscape.
Volunteers will play a key role in this ambitious landscape scale Citizen Science project to record bats and their interactions with the landscape. Citizen Scientists will be trained to deploy wildlife acoustic detectors in assigned 1km squares for four consecutive nights before collecting the equipment and sending the data off to be analysed.
Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority said: “We are delighted to receive this significant contribution from Clif Bar. This will enable our Ryevitalise project team to collect the vital information they need to inform habitat management practices that will preserve and enhance bat populations and benefit wider wildlife in the area. This project will also engage local wildlife enthusiasts, land managers and river users to be part of an exciting opportunity to understand more about their local wildlife and to learn more about how they can protect it for many years to come. For all that and more we are thankful.”
For further information please contact Naomi Conway, National Parks Partnerships, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07950 392979 or Amelia Greenwood, CLIF Bar Press Office, CLIFBar@hopeandglorypr.com, 020 3588 9769.