Here you will find answers to some common questions we get about Friends of Nature UK.
Q. Why join Friends of Nature?
A. Many reasons! Some join to use the network of 800+ houses when undertaking walking, travelling or nature exploration. Some for the friendship and local activities provided by the local group - whether this is social events, outdoor pursuits or environmental campaigning. A sizeable minority join to be part of a growing global organisation which is present in 50+ countries, the feeling of being part of something 'bigger' and not constrained by political boundaries. Outward looking folk wanting to avoid insularity and as part antidote to BREXIT maybe...?
Q. Who can join?
A. Anyone and everyone with the proviso that you respect the broad outline of our Constitution which encourages respect and understanding of people, nature and the planet. See detailed wording in section 2. of the Constitution here: https://friendsofnature.org.uk/join-us/constitution
Q. Why have I not heard of Friends of Nature before?
A. If you hop over to mainland Europe, our organisation is much better known - particularly in the hiking areas of the Alps. Originating in the Austria of 1895 where the working classes sought to escape the harsh working conditions in towns by building 'houses' in the countryside and enable the pursuit of outdoor sports, experience fresh air and the wonders of nature. Since 1950's the focus has shifted more to conservation and protection of the natural world by offering solutions of sustainable living. Way before mainstream environmentalism hit the stage in this respect.
Q. Friends of Nature/Naturefriends/Naturfreunde/Amis de la Nature/Amici della Natura... what's with the names?
A. Variety is the Spice of Life! Because each country is autonomous but under the umbrella of Naturefriends International (English) or Naturfreunde Internationale (German) currently based in Vienna (and commonly abbreviated as NFI) - all countries interpret the original German meaning of Naturfreunde in their own language, so Amis de la Nature in France, and Friends of Nature in the UK!
Q. What benefits are there of being a member?
A. Being part of a progressive movement of some 400k members worldwide; standing up for Nature on the local, national and global stage; meeting like minded peoples from diverse backgrounds, sporting and social activities, etc... oh and there is also the benefit of many discounted nights to be had when staying in our Friends of Nature houses across Europe and beyond :)
Q. Are there opportunities to get involved with nature conservation, community projects, campaigning, etc...?
A. Yes and No. Our UK group is small in comparison to mainland Europe so much work is in publicising campaigns running across geographical borders, we have no paid staff here! We try and support the works of NFI in Vienna wherever possible. Annually at our AGM we have for many years allocated funds to a variety of causes, most recently included Ukraine, Camphill Trust (centres for adults with learning disabilities), Pakistan Flooding, tree planting, Farms for City Children and County Wildlife Trusts.
Q. Is there a regular Magazine?
A. Currently 'no'. Website, e-mails and social media seem to have overtaken the traditional Newsletter/Magazine which we produced until a few years back. Nothing is set in stone, if a Member has the time and inclination it may well happen again! For the broader perspective, NFI have a number of regular communications with the most popular being the monthly 'NFI Newsletter' - see latest edition on www.friendsofnature.org or sign up to e-mail version here: https://nf-int.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e7058dace49674cef9779e7bf...
Q. What happens to my membership fee, does it get swallowed up by administration?
A. In addition to our annual membership income we also receive generous donations from various members when they first join or on renewal. Usually, we manage to run a credit balance on membership income alone (Covid years apart) after annual costs of insurance, membership to Naturfreunde (our international governing body), our AGM, email and computer expenses. Our largest expense however is in donations. As the UK national body, we donate to causes that promote Friends of Nature's ethos and values such as those listed below:
|NFI Africa Appeal||£266|
|Farms for City Children||£450|
|NFI 120th Anniversary||£515|
|City Farms and Community Gardens||£200|
|Nepalese Friends of Nature||£200|
|Community Action Nepal||£300|
|Borders Forest Trust||£300|
|John Muir Tust||£200|
|Children of the Mountain||£200|
|Mountain Rescue (in memory Alan Gentle, former Treasurer)||£400|
|Medecin Sans Frontieres||£300|
|W&S G, specific members donation, to MSF||£100|
|Just Act Gambia||£200|
|DEC's support for Ukraine||£500|
|DEC's support for Pakistan floods||£400|
If you would like to contact the website, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.