Conservation – Everything has a Place and a Purpose!

I became part of Back from the Brink in March 2019 – Back from the Brink is a conservation programme of 19 projects throughout England. There are 7 habitat projects which encompass multiple species; and 12 individual species projects. All-told the programme seeks to save 20 of England’s rarest species from extinction and in doing so, benefit a further 200! Who wouldn’t want to be part of that and contribute in some way – even if it is in a supporting role? The work that I do in the background enables those with the expertise to do the important species saving stuff!

When I had my interview, I was asked why I wanted to be part of Back from the Brink. I could have provided the bog-standard and possibly predictable answer, but I decided to speak from the heart and so I said “I am a Christian, and as a Christian I believe that God created everything, and that everything has a place and a purpose in His world, so we should do our best to preserve each and every one, no matter how insignificant it may seem”. I was slightly concerned about what response I would get because let’s face it, many people think that Christians are just weird! Thankfully my response was met with a smile and here I am now, working on this amazing project!

Crested Cow Wheat (c) Alex Hyde

God’s creation is a gift to everyone, it’s His witness to us of His divine nature and awesome abilities. Some species just don’t seem like they should exist because of their unusual make-up or habitat but they do.  So often we focus on the created thing and ignore the Creator Himself.

God’s creation is a call to arms – it’s there to draw us to Him

Romans 1:20 (NIV)

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

I don’t profess to be an expert on the bible, I certainly don’t understand everything in it and I often struggle to live life the way God wants me to; but I do trust it and I do trust Him. We are custodians of His planet and everything in it, therefore we should do our best to look after and conserve everything in it. Everything has a place and a purpose!

Clustered Bellflower (c) Alex Hyde

A big part of my work is to do with social media, and I get to use some fantastic pictures of our programme species and their landscapes – it is such a privilege to witness these things in a way I probably wouldn’t if I were doing a different job. I was going to include a load of my favourites in this blog but it was too hard to choose - you can view and download some of them for free on our Flickr albums page.

I get to work with an amazing team of people who are passionate about what they do – here’s a few of us at our Programme Team gathering last November in London. It’s impossible to get everyone together in the same place at the same time, but we try our best a couple of times a year, as it’s a great opportunity to catchup, swap advice and share information about the projects – the struggles and successes!

That’s me, at the front far left, with my manager James standing behind me. What James doesn’t know about things that grow, creep, crawl, slip, slide or fly just isn’t worth knowing!

We are moving into the last year of our programme and are turning our thoughts towards a lasting legacy where communities, land managers/owners and volunteers can pick up the Back from the Brink baton and run with it. A lot of people get involved through events that we host up and down the country throughout the year – you can too. We have an amazing following on Twitter – if you want to keep up to date with all things @NatureBftB, why not follow us.

Our programme is predominantly funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund; and in 2019 we were awarded best Heritage Project as part of their 25th birthday lottery awards. We were very excited about this as it demonstrated that the perceptions of ‘heritage’ are shifting from things like buildings, historic attractions and gardens, to ‘natural heritage’. We were joined by Steve Backshall to create a short video about our programme for the Lottery Awards Ceremony. Not the sort of thing you get to do at work every day - and I was on the telly!

So, why do I do this job?

Because Everything has a Place and a Purpose in creation and because…………

Back from the Brink is Amazing!


Nicky Newman

Back from the Brink Programme Administrator


Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.