This month marks two years since the Jurassic Coast Trust took over the full management responsibility for protecting and conserving the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ of the 95 mile stretch of land from East Devon to Dorset, designated as England’s only Natural World Heritage Site.
The ever-changing landscape of the Jurassic Coast brings with it a host of new challenges and opportunities which the charity has been busy embracing since the transition out of Local Authority management in 2017. As well as core conservation and protection work, which includes consultation on planning and development proposals and advising on coastal sea defence schemes, the Trust has been developing interpretation and education outreach projects and a joined-up volunteering and capacity building programme called the Jurassic Coast Volunteer Network. And, in today’s increasingly challenging funding environment, there has been a need to prioritise work to build plans for the sustainable and secure future for the Trust in the future.
A recent funding success includes securing a two-year core grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support the work of the Trust and to help build capacity to develop and deliver core conservation projects on the Jurassic Coast. The details for this work have yet to be set but will be shaped by input from over 80 partners along the Coast who are in the process of being consulted on priorities and the details of a new five-year Partnership Plan for the management of the World Heritage Site. Fundamental to the work of the Trust, the Plan is part of the requirements of UNESCO and is central to maintaining World Heritage status.
To compliment this core work, the innovative and entrepreneurial aspirations of the Trust were recently recognised by ‘Power to Change’, a Charitable Trust who operate solely to support community businesses in England. The Jurassic Coast Trust was selected from over 230 applicants as one of 80 organisations across England to be included on the Power to Change Community Trade Up programme. The Trust will receive a grant to develop entrepreneurial ideas to develop financial sustainability through trade.
Lucy Culkin, Acting Head of Operations at the Jurassic Coast Trust advised: “We are delighted to be recognised and supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Power to Change Charitable Trust. We will be using this funding to make a real impact on the protection and conservation work we deliver along the coast. We are excited about the opportunities this funding affords us and how we can put aspirations into actions in the coming months.”
The Trust is currently delivering a busy and action-packed summer events programme, including learning outreach at local events and festivals, guided walks and children’s activities.
From September, the new Partnership Plan consultation meetings will take place across the coast and information on dates and ways to contribute will be available on www.jurassiccoast.org
Finally, the charity is also focusing on the important job of recruiting a new Chief Executive over the summer and into the autumn, as Chair Alexandra O’Dwyer explains:
“We have a really important vacancy for a Chief Executive at the JCT and we’re looking for someone very special to lead the work of our organisation and to drive our ambitious plans, to motivate and inspire our staff, volunteers, partners and supporters and in particular to ensure that the new Partnership Plan is successfully delivered through building really effective relationships with stakeholders. You can find out more about the job at www.jurassiccoast.org/ceorecruit and you have until 16th September to apply. To be successful you will need senior level experience running an organisation, preferably a charity, so you understand all that this entails, from funding, finance and governance to human resources, project delivery and communications. While we would expect you to have a real interest in and understanding of heritage and conservation we aren’t specifically requiring candidates to have a scientific background, though it could be an advantage.”