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Caring youngsters help local wildlife charity

Hawk Conservancy Trust Elsie Nicholls
Photo: Elsie Nicholls

The Hawk Conservancy Trust says its spirits have been lifted by the efforts of the many local youngsters who have undertaken a variety of fundraising activities to help the bird of prey charity through the challenges of the pandemic.

Sending its heartfelt thanks out to these fresh-faced and inventive supporters, the Trust has told how on hearing that the charity’s income was being severely impacted by successive lockdowns, young children and teenagers from across the region have been moved to find ways to raise money.

The youngsters’ efforts have ranged from truly heart-warming acts of selflessness to impressive physical feats with examples including:

  • Siblings Nicolai Bauer (6) and Eve Bauer (5) from Marlborough donated their pocket money and Christmas money then sold kindling before sending the funds in with a charming letter (photo, below).
  • Natural world enthusiast Harriet Aston (15) of Abbott’s Ann, Andover, set up a baking delivery service, making and selling delicious cakes and cookies. She built her own great-looking website to sell tempting products and give information on the cause.
  • Elsie Nicholls (8, pictured) from Haslemere, Surrey, plans to cycle an incredible 100km throughout April, sponsored by friends, family and her school. She also set up a JustGiving page – 
    In her letter to the Trust, Elsie described visiting the Hawk Conservancy Trust as “one of the best times” of her life. Elsie’s Just Giving page is:

Speaking of how grateful the Trust’s team is to the young supporters, Chief Executive Penny Smout said: “Selfless acts like these from the younger generation are truly the wind beneath our wings.  Not only have these incredible young people provided us with some much-needed financial support, they’ve also provided the encouragement that our work is inspiring younger generations.  Hearing about their love of birds and seeing them engage with our mission for their conservation just shows how we can all play our part in preserving our incredible wildlife for future generations.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the Hawk Conservancy Trust to become increasingly reliant on generous support like that of these dedicated youngsters. With the slump in income throughout each lockdown, minimal Government support schemes have not been sufficient to avoid the Trust having to rely on its reserves and to appeal directly to the public for help for the first time in its 55-year history.

The Trust is planning to reopen its visitor centre at Weyhill on 12th April, in line with the lifting of Government restrictions, and is hopeful that bookings will help stabilise the charity’s finances. 

Tickets are available now on its website –

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.