Make It Wild was founded by Helen and Christopher Neave in December 2017 with the mission statement ‘Its not our aim to protect nature, it’s our purpose’.
Helens background is in healthcare and Christopher has had a successful career in business. The two have always had an interest in the wild and the preserving of nature and have decided to follow their passion and give back to nature by going full time into ‘Make It Wild’. Helen and Christopher have three children, who are all just as passionate about the environment and our planet as their parents.
‘Make It Wild’ is a project that’s main focus is on taking areas of land and returning them to nature whilst at the same time encouraging wildlife to arrive back to these areas and thrive.
They also offer the opportunity to individuals and businesses to offset their carbon footprint through planting trees on their behalf.
For now, Make It Wild have two sites, Bank woods in Summerbridge and Sylvan Nature Reserve in Kirk Hammerton, near York. On these sites they have planted over 25,000 trees and dug ponds as they look to improve the habitat for wildlife and increase biodiversity.
Whilst they focus on preserving and protecting 3 acres of ancient woodland on their ‘Bank Woods’ site, they also plan to create a wildflower meadow in the near future so this company has many methods and strategies to help nature along.
Here is what Helen has to say about the increase in wildlife on both sites up to this point;
‘At Sylvan, Kirk Hammerton, we had lots of surveys done initially but we haven’t had any done recently. I can tell you that when it was a rough field, there were very few insects or birds, and no larger mammals. Now, following the planting of 18,000 trees, the place is buzzing with insects, most notably bees and damsel flies, and many species of birds including various kinds of tits and warblers, red kites, buzzard, kestrel. We often see hare, fox and roe deer.
We plan to carry out a survey at Bank Woods in a few years to look for changes. One thing we know for sure is that of 27 bird boxes we put up this year, 21 were occupied, which is a very high proportion.’
Make It Wild raise funds through selling ethical items that support plastic free living and the majority of the products are vegan, eco-friendly and zero-waste. They sell products ranging from bamboo cotton buds and toothbrushes to clothing as well as soap and sunscreen. One hundred percent of all money raised from sales goes back into the nature project.
They have also added an eco-friendly, self-catering holiday cottage adjoining Bank Woods reserve, so people now have the opportunity to stay and live in the nature that Make It Wild has created.
As mentioned earlier, Make It Wild have also launched a carbon offsetting project. This will give individuals and businesses the opportunity to offset their carbon footprints by donating to Make It Wild who will in turn, plant trees on their behalf. Once a donation is paid, the customer will receive a certificate showing the amount of carbon they have offset along with a map and aerial picture of where their trees have been planted.
When you speak to Helen or Chris you get a real sense of their passion for this project and you can also see their ambition to take this project onto more sites and introduce more schemes as they go along to keep helping the environment.
It is great to know of their children’s passion for our world and it fills us with confidence that Make It Wild could turn into a family project for generations to come.
We ourselves have invested in their carbon offsetting scheme for this year and will continue to do so going forward.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at their project, buying ethically sourced products or offsetting your personal or business carbon footprint you can visit their website at www.makeitwild.co.uk
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