UK’s Starling Bank, National Trust to Improve Access to Nature

The National Trust and Starling Bank have launched a three-year partnership aimed at ensuring more people “have access to nature, both now and in the future.”

Through the partnership, it is “estimated that over 1 million people will be able to benefit from improved access to nature through the family-focused Summer of Play program, nature workshops for school children, and Starling Banks’s refer a friend scheme.”

More than 157 properties and outdoor places in the care of the National Trust “will take part in Summer of Play.”

Summer of Play “supports young families, grandparents and children to get out and about into nature during the summer holidays.” Nature workshops “aimed at both primary and secondary school children who otherwise struggle to access outdoor space will provide additional opportunities for them to experience nature and learn about how best to protect the environment and wildlife for future generations.”

It’s estimated “that more than 6,000 children will be able to take part in these workshops thanks to funding from Starling Bank.” The workshops will primarily be “offered to schools in urban locations with high free school meal uptake.”

The partnership will “benefit adults as well as children and young people; with 95% of adults saying that accessing nature is important to their mental health, improving this access for those who face barriers is critical.”

Free individual day passes to National Trust sites “will be available for Starling customers and their personal networks through the bank’s refer-a-friend scheme, opening up more opportunities for people to visit the fantastic historic buildings, gardens, coast and countryside in the care of the National Trust.”

Funding from Starling Bank will also be “used to deliver projects that help halt the decline in wildlife and protect our wild landscapes.”

Projects include “taking action to restore peatlands in the UK, with the aim of restoring up to 37.5 hectares of peat over three years.” 80% of UK peatlands are in “a degraded state but these hugely important environments provide a rich and diverse home to rare and threatened wildlife, represent one of our most important terrestrial carbon stores, and play a vital role in water regulation and flood management.”

Victoria Floyd, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the National Trust, said:

“We’re delighted to be launching this partnership with Starling Bank. Corporate Partnerships are a hugely valuable income stream for charities like ours, enabling us to deliver more in partnership than we ever could alone. Together we will restore vital peatlands, help children and young people both enjoy and learn how to protect the natural world around them and enable Starling customers to explore the places in our care.”

Floyd added:

“As Britain’s first digital bank, Starling believes in a sustainable future on a thriving planet, something that is core to our work here at the National Trust. We’re excited to work with Starling over the next three years to deliver on this shared ambition, protecting and improving access to nature, beauty and history for everyone, forever.”

Rachel Kerrone, Brand & Marketing Director at Starling Bank adds:

“Starling Bank is committed to doing its part in looking after the planet, from sustainable packaging and recycled debit cards, to having eco-friendly offices. We’re on a mission to carbon neutrality, and our partnership with the National Trust means we can invest in more sustainability projects across the UK, such as restoring peat – one of the most important terrestrial carbon stores.”

Kerrone added:

“We’re also passionate about our program to bring nature to children facing barriers to access, whether that’s because of low-income backgrounds, having additional needs or living in highly urban areas. Finally, working with the National Trust we’re opening up many historic places and green spaces in its care to our customers through our refer-a-friend scheme.”

The National Trust is “an independent charity and relies on the generosity of funders, donors, members and visitors to look after the more than 500 places in its care.”

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