Watch the trailer for the Whitley Awards 2021: Live

"Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster. Whitley Award winners are conserving our natural world at a critical moment. Now we need you to come together across continents and support them." WFN Trustee, Sir David Attenborough

The Whitley Award is one of the world’s leading prizes for grassroots conservation. On Wednesday 12 May at 7pm BST we celebrate the 2021 winners and Gold Award recipient, at an online ceremony hosted live by charity Ambassadors Tom Heap and Kate Humble.


Unprecedented biodiversity, climate and health emergencies are unfolding around us. They threaten the future of all life on earth.

Biodiversity is collapsing. Wildlife populations have declined by an average of two thirds over the past 50 years, with one million species at risk of extinction. Habitats are disappearing too, exploited for human use. In fact, each of us consumes 15% more than in 1980, during which time we’ve increased plastic pollution tenfold.

Our home is heating up. Not only are we more prone to extreme weather but we’re also less able to protect ourselves, having doubled our emissions in a generation and destroyed natural defences. The Global South is bearing the brunt.

Society is sick. Exploiting wild animals and wild places creates new zoonotic diseases; for many, COVID-19 has been our first direct experience of the inextricable link between human and environmental health.


We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take action: as world leaders prepare to renew environmental commitments at the forthcoming biodiversity COP15 and climate COP26 summits, Whitley Award winners are the grassroots changemakers turning political ambitions into a green reality.

This window of opportunity won’t last – it’s now or never to embark on our #RootToRecovery. Will you join us?

Join the #RootToRecovery


Wildlife conservation works. The extinction risk of birds, mammals and amphibians would be at least 20% worse without the help of conservationists.

This success comes despite the fact that less than 4% of UK philanthropic funding goes to the environment.

Now imagine, with your support, how much more we could achieve.

Donate to the Whitley Fund for Nature


WFN exists to identify mid-career conservationists who are onto a winner, but need our help to grow. Whitley Award recipients have, in equal measure, a genuine understanding of local context, the scientific knowledge to put solutions into practice, and the leadership skills to affect change. Meet the 2021 winners on Wednesday 12 May at 7pm BST.

Watch the Whitley Awards 2021: Live on YouTube

We are grateful for the support of our Whitley Awards Partner, Earlymarket LLP
Whitley Awards Partner Earlymarket