1% for the Planet
The South West Coast Path Association is proud to have been invited to join global giving network ‘1% for the Planet’, as an approved non-profit partner making a positive impact for the environment.
What is 1% for the Planet?
1% for the Planet is a network made up of thousands of member businesses, organisations and individuals around the world, connected by a shared goal to protect the future of our planet. Their mission is "to bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving". Businesses that join 1% for the Planet commit to giving 1% of gross sales each year to carefully vetted approved nonprofit partners like the South West Coast Path Association.
“The intent of 1% for the Planet is to help fund these diverse environmental organizations so that collectively they can be a more powerful source in solving the world’s problems”
- Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and co-founder of 1% for the Planet.
Our focus areas
1% for the Planet look to trusted nonprofit partners like us for solutions to address the most pressing environmental issues of our time. They are focused on six core areas: climate, land, food, pollution, water and wildlife. All work delivered by their nonprofit partners, and funded by their members, must fall into one of these categories. Here at the South West Coast Path Association we tackle challenges linked to:
1. Climate Change: battling erosion and extreme weather to protect our coastal corridor
The Coast Path corridor exists at the very edge of our peninsula, where land meets sea, that’s what makes it so special. But this also puts it on the frontline when it comes to extreme weather caused by climate change. Increasing storm damage, combined with rising sea levels are leading to faster rates of coastal erosion which in turn drives up costs of caring for the Trail.
Tracking coastal erosion
We’ve been tracking “exceptional coastal erosion events” along the National Trail since 2013. For an incident to make it on to our records there needs to have been a direct impact on people’s ability to use the South West Coast Path, and a subsequent need for an intervention to repair, restore or even move the route completely. Between 2013 and 2020 we recorded nearly 200 exceptional events which destroyed parts of the Trail. Many events on our records are cliff falls, landslips, or collapses of key infrastructure such as stairs or bridges caused by heavy rain fall, flooding or storm surges. Climate change research consistently indicates that we should expect these events to increase in frequency and severity over the coming years.
Our team of around 75 volunteer Path Reps undertake a thorough condition survey of the South West Coast Path every year using tablets carrying special software. They are our eyes and ears on the ground, regularly feeding vital data from their assigned 10 mile stretch back to us at SWCP HQ. Thanks to their efforts we can respond to Trail emergencies and get an early heads up about where along the Path is most at risk from climate changes, thereby channelling funding to where it is most needed.
Planning for tomorrow
We are also working with our partners to develop a future-proofing plan for the Trail. This includes looking at how we deal with ‘roll back’ (when the Path is retreated away from eroding coastline), as well as identifying potential future diversions. We also review Path infrastructure, surfacing and drainage to see what improvements could be made to reduce the impact of more varied weather cause by climate change. By identifying issues in advance, we can cost out and plan developments to the Trail to ensure it remains accessible for future generations.
With your help, we can increase the Path’s resilience against the onslaught of extreme weather, protect the rich biodiversity of its’ coastal corridor, conserve its distinct cultural heritage; and continue to champion the real, positive impact it has on people’s health and wellbeing.
2. Land: standing up for and providing access to natural landscapes
A formally protected landscape, South West Coast Path is England’s longest National Trail, wrapping its way 630-miles around the region and creating a natural corridor either side of the footpaths it comprises. The Trail boasts an extraordinarily wide variety of habitats such as grassland, heathland, moorland, woodland, sand dunes, mud flats, coastal cliffs and saltwater marsh which support biodiversity. Over 70% is within a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with much of the Coast Path also running alongside protected seascapes including Marine Conservation Zones and RAMSAR sites.
Taking people and wildlife ‘to and through’ wild landscapes
As the charity looking after the South West Coast Path our work is focussed on ensuring that the National Trail continues to exist as a world class landscape connector. We are the voice for the Coast Path, funders of improvement projects that allow nature to flourish whilst keeping the way open, and leaders of outreach and engagement work in our communities. In practise this means choosing local oak for our step boards and signage, responding to planning applications, pushing National Trails up the government agenda and creating landscape-champions by introducing beginner groups to the South West Coast Path.
The South West Coast Path’s very existence as a nationally protected landscape means it plays an important role in connecting fragmented habitat ‘islands’ which humans have created through urban expansion. The Coast Path corridor also acts as a connector across the fragile littoral zone. Land and sea are not binary, and habitats don’t just stop at the water’s edge. The protecting ‘buffer’ which the corridor provides between terrestrial and marine is just as crucial for biodiversity as the horizontal connection between protected landscapes.
Partnering with us through 1% for the Planet
If you aren’t currently a member of 1% for the Planet, you might like to download their ‘Getting Started’ guide which takes you through how and why your business can benefit from their membership. Members gain access to expertise, guidance and a network of like-minded companies so they can make the most out of their corporate giving programs, including by leveraging the globally recognised 1% for the Planet brand and strengthening their organisational cultures.
If you are already a 1% for the Planet member, great, we’d love to talk! Email our Head of Fundraising Christie so we can start exploring ways to reach your environmental goals by supporting England’s longest National Trail, the South West Coast Path.