23rd March 2021

Wildlife and Countryside Link (Link) is the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, bringing together 57 organisations for the protection of nature.

In 2023:

In 2023, we have continued to support our members and the wider environment sector in implementing the first steps in our Route Map Towards Greater Ethnic Diversity in the Environment Sector, particularly focusing on (1) training; (2) data and reporting; and (3) peer support. Outputs have included a gap analysis survey identifying shared training needs across the sector, and best practice guidance on EDI data and reporting. We also continue to provide sectoral benchmarking, and have published our 2023 benchmarking report for route map delivery on our website, showing where the sector has been making progress, where further work is needed, and what action we propose to take in 2024 to address this: https://www.wcl.org.uk/docs/Et.... This will guide our work in 2024.

Our EDI Working Group is now regularly attended by over 30 organisations, bringing people together to form a supportive community of practice for “working on” EDI. Through this forum, we have been able to bring in external expertise from beyond the environment sector for webinars and workshops, as well as providing the opportunity for organisations to share and discuss challenges, ideas, and pitfalls as they work through the route map. We are building a shared library of EDI resources, including exemplar documents and templates, for the Working Group to use. We continue to host a peer support network for people of colour – now called the Raven Network – and provide funding for a paid Chair for this network.

We have also made progress on implementing the route map ourselves, particularly around redesigning our recruitment policy and practice to be more inclusive, implementing tracking and reporting of EDI data, and improving both our visual and verbal representation. We have participated in Groundwork’s ‘New to Nature‘ scheme, which has particularly helped us with our recruitment policy and practice.

In 2024:

In 2024, we will continue to support our members and the wider environment sector in implementing the route map for ethnic diversity, in particular smaller organisations who are struggling to get off the starting blocks. To do so, we aim to deliver a targeted support scheme for smaller organisations in 2024, starting with a small cohort of 10 organisations as a proof of concept. This will include 1-2-1 advice sessions, training and resources to help enable and equip smaller organisations to break down barriers and progress on their ethnic diversity journey.

We will also continue to implement the route map ourselves, focusing on reviewing and revising our policies, surveying staff perceptions and experiences, and building anti-racism policies, training, and reporting structures, alongside further consideration of culture change. We will also deliver EDI training for all staff in 2024.

In early 2025 we will seek to further benchmark the sector’s progress, and analyse remaining gaps, on ethnic diversity route map milestones.