The Wildlife Trusts partnership

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The logo of the Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts partnership, or simply The Wildlife Trusts, is a partnership of 47 local wildlife trusts in the United Kingdom plus the Isle of Man and Alderney.

The partnership's member trusts, between them, look after 2,500 nature reserves covering 800 square kilometres. As of 2005 they have a combined membership of 530,000 members.

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), an independent charity, is also part of the partnership and acts as an umbrella group for the local Wildlife Trusts, as well as operating a separate grants unit which administers a number of funds.


Activities of the Wildlife Trusts

Wildlife Trusts are local organisations of differing size, history and origins, and can vary greatly in their constitution, activities and membership. However, all wildlife trusts share a common interest in wildlife and biodiversity, rooted in a practical tradition of land management and conservation. Almost all county wildlife trusts are significant landowners, with many nature reserves. They often have extensive educational activities, and programmes of public events and education. The Wildlife Trusts centrally and locally also lobby for better protection of the UK's natural heritage, by becoming involved in planning matters and by national campaigning through the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. The trusts rely heavily upon volunteer labour for many of their activities, but nevertheless employ significant numbers of staff in countryside management and education.

History of the Wildlife Trusts

Today's Wildlife Trust movement began life as The Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR) which was formed by Charles Rothschild in 1912. During the early years, membership tended to be made up of specialist naturalists and its growth was comparatively slow. The first independent Trust was formed in Norfolk in 1926 as the Norfolk Naturalists Trust, and it was not until the 1940s and 1950s that a number of new Naturalists' Trusts were formed in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, West Wales, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire. These early Trusts tended to focus on purchasing land to establish nature reserves in the geographical areas they served.

Encouraged by the growing number of Trusts, the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR) began in 1957 to discuss the possibility of forming a national federation of Naturalists' Trusts. Kent Naturalists Trust was established in 1958 with SPNR being active in encouraging its formation. In the following year the SPNR established the County Naturalists' Committee which organised the first national conference for Naturalists' Trusts at Skegness in 1960. By 1964 the number of Trusts had jumped to 36 and the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves had changed its name to the Society for the Promotion of Nature Conservation. In recognition of the movement's growing importance, its name was changed to The Royal Society for Nature Conservation in 1981. The organisation is now known as the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.

The movement continued to develop throughout the nineteen seventies and by the early nineteen eighties most of today's Trusts had been established. It was during this period that some Trusts changed their name from Naturalist Societies to Trusts for Nature Conservation and then to Wildlife Trusts. The badger logo was adopted by the movement to establish its common identity.

As the number of Trusts grew, so did their combined membership, from 3,000 in 1960 to 21,000 in 1965. Membership topped 100,000 in 1975, and in that year Wildlife Watch was launched as a children's naturalist club. By the late 1980s membership lay at 200,000, reaching 260,000 in 1995 and a 2004 figure of over 500,000.

Geographical location of Wildlife Trusts

Full list of trusts

See also

External links


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