NATURE-LOVERS are being urged by a North-East charity to consider recycling their winter fuel payment to support wildlife.

The Durham Wildlife Trust is appealing to people over the state pension age to donate the payment to the charity if they don’t need it.

Those born on or before October 5, 1954, are eligible to receive between £100 and £300 each winter, with most payments made automatically between November and December.

By donating their winter fuel allowance to the Trust, supporters can help to offset their carbon and fuel usage throughout the year as well as contribute to the Trust’s vital work.

Durham Wildlife Trust is a nature conservation charity that owns and manages 37 nature reserves throughout the region, covering an area of almost 800 hectares, providing special places for people, for wildlife, and for future generations.

Trust supporter, Roger Smith, of Durham, said: “When I qualified for the Winter Fuel Allowance last year, my first thought was that I didn’t need it for myself, and that I should use it to help the environment instead.

“I wanted to make a difference locally, so I asked Durham Wildlife Trust if they could use it to plant some plum trees on one of their sites. It’s not a big thing on its own, but if we all do a little, it’ll add up to a lot.”

  • £150 is enough to pay for a fruit tree to be planted and maintained at Rainton Meadows nature reserve.
  • £250 is enough to pay for the upkeep of one of Durham Wildlife Trust’s Exmoor ponies for a year.
  • £300 is enough to pay for a day’s training for volunteers so they can provide vital support to the conservation team.
  • £1,000 is enough to pay for looking after 20 acres of Durham Wildlife Trust woodland for a year.

Head of Operations and Development, Zoe Hull, said: “By donating the winter fuel payment, if you don’t need it, you will be helping to sustain the work we are doing to protect our wildlife for future generations.

“We are a small, local charity that relies on the support of our members. Membership enables us to manage our nature reserves, run conservation projects, deliver environmental education activities, and provide thousands of volunteering opportunities each year.”

  • Supporters can donate at durhamwt.com/winter-fuel
  • Information about the winter fuel payment can be found at: gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
  • Information about becoming a member of Durham Wildlife Trust can be found here https://www.durhamwt.com/join. Memberships from £2.50 a month.