Giving the gift of wildlife to future generations

After ten years of membership with the Trust and retirement approaching, Michael Parkes is not only looking forward to volunteering with the Trust when he has more time, but has also made the generous decision to leave a gift to the Trust in his will; a legacy that will help protect wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

Growing up in the Black Country, Michael has countless memories of days spent in Haden Hill Park and Corngreaves and Saltwell’s nature reserves. “So many days out with my family as a youngster, amongst the trees, the geese, moor hens, squirrels, the fish in the pond - I felt very lucky to have so much nature around me” he told me. Clearly someone who has witnessed the change in these sites over the years, Michael went on to tell me of how wild he remembered Haden Hill Park to be, particularly in his youth. Not only the restriction of wild growth but expansion and building developments encroaching more and more into our green spaces is having an increasingly negative impact on our wildlife. “It’s a loss of habitat. We don’t own this world alone, it’s our job to protect our wildlife and the land and we are already taking too much as it is. We need to take stock and think, if we carry on at this rate what will be left?”

To Michael, the choice to become a member, future volunteer and to leave a gift in his will was tied to his gratitude for the experiences he had throughout his life in the Black Country’s parks and reserves. “I want to help the organisation to thrive and prosper in its brilliant work to protect our local wildlife and natural places”. Michael is also very keen to get active in volunteering in the reserves once he retires. When I asked him how he would most like to volunteer he told me he’d most like to be right in the thick of it “repairing fences, maintaining habitats and nesting sites”.

I was most curious about what inspired him to make the decision to leave the Wildlife Trust a gift in his will and why it was so important to him. To Michael the answer was simple; “It’s a wonderful feeling to give back to nature” he said. “I will be leaving a percentage of my estate to the Wildlife Trust and it gives me great comfort to know that that money will be put to good use”. Michael’s passion, love for nature and faith in the Trust is humbling and his act of kindness and generosity will help ensure the protection of Wildlife in Birmingham and the Black Country for years to come.

If you’d like to leave a gift  in your will, please contact Emma Thompson on 0121 523 0094  or


Interview & article by Joe Reynolds, volunteer

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