'Imagine a world if...' The National Lottery reveals shocking climate change images of iconic landmarks to mark COP26

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Mountains of plastic waste at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, illustrate that less than 10% of everyday plastic gets recycled in the UK
Mountains of plastic waste at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, illustrate that less than 10% of everyday plastic gets recycled in the UK

The National Lottery has today released a series of powerful images highlighting what some of the UK’s most cherished landmarks and venues could look like if we don’t start taking action against serious environmental issues and taking better care of our planet.

To mark the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, model and environmentalist, Daisy Lowe, has teamed up with The National Lottery to visually highlight the scale of some of the environmental and climate change challenges we face in the UK and encourage us all to take action. Daisy also brings a message of hope by showcasing some of the amazing projects funded by The National Lottery good causes which are striving to make our communities greener.

Daisy features in a series of striking before and manipulated after images at iconic National Lottery funded venues and landmarks, to showcase the potential impact on the environment, should we continue down the path we are on without making some real changes.

The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: engulfed in litter to illustrate the alarming amount of marine litter found on UK beaches
The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: engulfed in litter to illustrate the alarming amount of marine litter found on UK beaches
  • Shakespeare’s Globe, London: mountains of plastic waste illustrate that less than 10% of everyday plastic gets recycled in the UK.

  • The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: engulfed in litter to illustrate the alarming amount of marine litter found on UK beaches.

  • The Falkirk Wheel, Scotland: clouds of thick smog illustrate the issue of air pollution and how this is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK.

  • Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff reimagined as if sea levels were to rise beyond 1.5 degrees with the exterior building submerged in water.

The images mark the findings of new research from The National Lottery Community Fund announced today which reveal what the UK is most concerned about when it comes to addressing climate change.

When asked what they would do to address climate change if they were a global leader, UK adults are most likely to say they’d reduce single use plastics (61%)[1], followed by supporting the circular economy (50%). Just over a quarter say they would reduce the number of flights people can take per year (28%) and the sale of non-electric cars (27%).

Whilst almost half of UK adults (47%) agree COP26 will motivate them to take more personal action to combat climate change, research by The National Lottery earlier this year also found that seven in ten (73%) of us admitted we are not doing enough to save the planet.

Committed to doing more for the environment herself, model and activist, Daisy Lowe, said: “The climate emergency is everybody’s business, and we all have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. 

"Hopefully these images will capture people’s imagination into taking action as we can all see what the repercussions might look like and it’s rather terrifying. Thankfully the news isn’t all bad and you can make a big difference. 

"Perhaps there is a disused rooftop that could be turned into public space or a green area near your home that could be conserved. If you have always wanted to make a difference in your local community, why not look at the funding available from The National Lottery.”

Over the last decade £2.2billion National Lottery funding has supported environmental good causes providing a much-needed and vital injection for our communities in the fight against climate change. In the last year alone, £60million has been awarded to 730 green projects from community groups preserving natural habitats, to art installations educating young people on climate change, to full-scale landscape restorations. Thanks to this funding, these projects are leading the way in approach, technological innovation and engagement as we collectively work to save the planet.

National Lottery funded good causes making their areas greener across the UK include:

English project The 2 Minute Foundation - based in Bude, Cornwall - which aims to tackle plastic pollution across the UK, one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. With the help of over £70,000 of funding from The National Lottery, the 2 Minute Foundation have been able to educate others with their Beach School, as well as set up almost 1000 2 Minute clean up stations on the coastline with ‘Guardian Angels’ monitoring them.

Joining The 2 Minute Foundation in the fight against the climate crisis is Welsh organisation Llandysul A Phont-Tyweli Ymlaen Cyf, who set up Dolen Teifi – a community transport system that operates electric vehicles. The electric cars have been lifechanging – not only to transport people, but to help tackle loneliness and poverty in the community in Ceredigion thanks to National Lottery funding of £446,168.

In Scotland, Lanark Community Development Trust have been able to use £99,940 of National Lottery funding to deliver a three-year community gardening project providing activities for the local community in Lanark. The project have also used the transformational support to hire a highly-qualified and talented young gardener who has transformed their Horticultural Training Centre.

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, reimagined as if sea levels were to rise beyond 1.5 degrees with the exterior building submerged in water
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, reimagined as if sea levels were to rise beyond 1.5 degrees with the exterior building submerged in water

Northern Ireland organisation The Woodland Trust have also benefited from National Lottery funding, with their The Faughan Valley: From Fragments to Thriving Forests project helping to restore and connect Faughan Valley’s woodlands and provide a habitat for wildlife to thrive. Based in Derry, The Woodland Trust received a £484,800 second round grant in December 2019 - bringing total project funding to £535,500 – and are now working to give the local woodlands in the area a much-needed boost.

From developing sustainability action plans; setting targets such as reducing emissions by 5% annually; committing to net-zero emissions by 2030; reducing the amount of waste diverted to landfill; or improving recycling rates - all National Lottery funding distributors are taking measures to manage their own environmental impact and are seeking to ensure that organisations receiving National Lottery grants manage their funding in an environmentally responsible way.

Ros Kerslake CBE, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “While the world focusses on COP26, we must each focus on what we can do, as organisations and as individuals, to slow the rate of climate change. We ask that projects funded through The National Lottery each play their part, whether it’s small changes, such as introducing community recycling bins, to large-scale environmental projects restoring precious peatlands. Across the country, we are working together with the good causes we support to lead, inspire and raise awareness of how and why we need to change our behaviours in order to protect the future of our planet.”

If you have a great idea that can make a positive difference to the environment in your community, then why not look at the funding available from The National Lottery. Please search ‘National Lottery Funding Finder’ for more information www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding

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