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Annual Review 2011 — 2012

Protecting Wildlife for the Future


I am delighted to introduce The Wildlife Trusts' Annual Review in its centenary year. The organization has come a long way since it was founded by the entomologist and banker, Charles Rothschild, in 1912. Rothschild realized the importance of protecting places for Nature and this was the starting point for what is now a U.K.-wide conservation movement. His daughter, Miriam, helped me create the wildflower meadows that now flourish every Summer at Highgrove. These were sown with seeds taken from her fields in Northamptonshire and, over the years, hay bales from the nearby Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve at Clattinger Farm. This special place has some of the country's finest and most ancient wildflower meadows and is just one of thousands of Nature reserves the Trusts now care for around the U.K. This year, The Wildlife Trusts have been celebrating Rothschild's vision and also the development of the individual Wildlife Trusts which covered Britain by the mid-1960s. In May, as part of these celebrations, it was my particular pleasure to host a reception at Highgrove for a few of the great many volunteers on whom the Trusts have depended throughout their history. I met committed and passionate people from all walks of life, including farmers, bankers, librarians, scientists and teachers - all of them local champions for wildlife who play a vital role in caring for their local environment. This, can you believe it, is my thirty sixth year as Patron of The Wildlife Trusts, and The Wildlife Trusts' work to create Living Landscapes and secure Living Seas is a vision I wholeheartedly share. With increasing pressure and threats from all sides including from a multitude of tree, plant and animal disease brought about by imports of every kind (unlike in Australia where there is much stricter control), on our natural world, we must pursue better ways to live in harmony with it and secure its recovery in the future. The Trusts' work to create wildlife-friendly landscapes and to press for the first real protection for marine wildlife sites is of vital importance and I much look forward to seeing progress with this in the coming year. The people I met at Highgrove in May left me in no doubt that the movement is in good hands as it advances towards its next one hundred years.

Wild daffodils at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Betty Daw’s Wood nature reserve.

Contents A message from our Patron


Who We Are


What We Do


Chair & CEO Address


Our Centenary Year


Living Landscapes


Living Seas


Inspiring People


Around The Wildlife Trusts


Organisational Overview


Partners & Supporters


Statistics cover The Wildlife Trusts’ activity from April 2011 to March 2012. The work in this Review covers Spring 2011 to Summer 2012.

Who We are

By the 1960s, in response to the widespread devastation of our natural habitats, Wildlife Trusts had been formed across the length and breadth of the UK. Ancient woodlands, heathlands, hills, lakes, islands, mudflats and beaches were rescued in an urgent drive to save our natural heritage for future generations.

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Volunteers with Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust at Cassiobury Park local nature reserve


•••• There are 47 Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK, as well as the Isle of Man and Alderney. Wildlife Trusts are run locally by people to care for the natural environment of their patch, whether a city, county, country or island. Together we have a mission to create Living Landscapes and secure Living Seas.

All 47 Wildlife Trusts are members of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (Registered charity number 207238).

The Wildlife Trusts stand up for nature: we manage land for wildlife, help others to do so and our advocacy and campaigning work ensures that a wide range of policies and decisions reflect the importance of our natural environment. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 in our junior branch Wildlife Watch, and around 37,000 volunteers.

Find out how you can get involved and support our work:

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We rely on the support of our members, volunteers and many different companies, organisations and agencies. howyoucanhelp

The Wildlife Trusts

Around the UK

Annual Review

2011 2012


Legend Living Seas •• • Project work ..................................• Living Landscape scheme .... ................................ ~... Nature Reserves


Target areas for landscape-scale conservation

Visitor Centres

800,000+ Members

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Nature reserves


Hectares of land managed


Visitor centres


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Living Landscapes schemes

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Development plans influenced

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Landowners advised


Hectares of land advised on



People directly engaged including pupils and students

7 million +

Visits to Trust nature reserves



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The Wildlife Trusts

What We do

Annual Review

2011 2012

The Wildlife Trusts are delivering results for wildlife and people across the UK. We care for 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. We are a leading provider of outdoor learning and access to nature. Each year we work with thousands of schools, and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors.

Manage special places for wildlife

Restore, recreate and reconnect natural habitats Run dive and shoreline surveys

Influence government policy and decision-making

Inspire adults and children about wildlife

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Work with thousands of volunteers

The Wildlife Trusts

What We do

2011 2012

Annual Review

Encourage wildlife-friendly gardening

Campaign for protection for our sea life

Provide advice to landowners and businesses

Survey, monitor and map species and habitats

Check planning applications for wildlife impacts

Organise coastal events

Champion nature

Run events for all ages and abilities

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Chair & Chief Executive Address

In a year of rapid political change, The Wildlife Trusts have remained firmly focused on our mission of creating Living Landscapes and securing Living Seas. Day in, day out Trusts are managing special places for wildlife, restoring landscapes, inspiring people about the sea and connecting people of all ages with their local wildlife. A review such as this can only ever hint at the true scale of what happens on the ground.

New jewels in the crown Saving places for nature by direct management has always been a part of our work and remains a vital mechanism. 2011-12 saw Wildlife Trusts take on the management of nationally-important wildlife sites such as The Roaches in the Staffordshire Peak District and Rye Harbour where Sussex Wildlife Trust is leading a local partnership of organisations to manage 465ha of sand, saltmarsh and shingle at this special place on the Sussex coast. A Suffolk Wildlife Trust appeal raised £100,000 in a week for the purchase of Knettishall Heath, one of the county’s largest remaining areas of Breckland Heath. In North Wales, a long-running campaign to save Eithinog, near Bangor, ended successfully. North Wales Wildlife Trust now plans to create and maintain habitats on the site including woodland and wildflower meadows as well improving public access and getting local schools involved.

Political change Wildlife and Natural Environment Acts were passed in both Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2011, and the Welsh Government began work on a groundbreaking new Single Body for


The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

managing natural resources. In each case Wildlife Trusts led the calls for change, supporting and challenging the process where necessary. June 2011 saw the launch of the Natural Environment White Paper for England. At its launch the Minister said that no other organisation had as great a claim to be described as it’s ‘midwife’ as The Wildlife Trusts. English Trusts are now at the forefront of its implementation locally, helping to lead new initiatives such as Local Nature Partnerships and Nature Improvement Areas. However from August onward the Coalition Government increasingly focused on stimulating built development and we were concerned about potential threats to the planning system and to wildlife sites of European importance in England. We made a concerted effort to fend these off, with some success. In February 2011 an outcry over the future of the Public Forest Estate in England led to the formation of an Independent Forestry Panel. Chief Executive, Stephanie Hilborne sat on the panel and we were pleased that its report stated the need to put nature at the heart of the Forestry Commission’s remit.

Protection for marine wildlife sites One hundred years ago our founder, Charles Rothschild, started work on the first list of proposed nature reserves on land. It included many places familiar to naturalists today: Box Hill in Surrey; parts of the north coast of Cornwall; Ben Lawers in Scotland; Chesil Beach in Dorset. We’ve had to wait almost a century for the equivalent list

Chair & Chief Executive Address

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Woodwalton Fen nature reserve – 100 years after it was safeguarded by our founder Charles Rothschild

of wildlife sites at sea, but finally, in September 2011, the English Government published a list of 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones. The Wildlife Trusts launched a campaign in summer 2011 to raise public support for Marine Protected Areas to be designated at sea in all UK waters. By spring 2012 we had gathered over 100,000 signatures on our giant ‘petition fish’ but designation of such areas is still some way off – and progressing at different speeds around the UK. This is a key test for the year ahead.

Looking back and looking forward 2012 was our centenary year and in May Wildlife Trusts from around the UK and their supporters met at the Natural History Museum in London (where we were founded) to celebrate a century of working for wildlife. This was accompanied by a series of events throughout the year encouraging people out into the woods, meadows, wetlands and heaths that Trusts have fought to save. One of many memorable moments was the presentation of a Centenary Award by our President Emeritus Sir David Attenborough to Ted Smith, founder of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and architect of the modern-day Trust movement. Ted is a true wildlife pioneer and his contribution to the success of the Trust movement today cannot be overstated. Our avowed intention is to push nature’s agenda forward into an era of recovery. And, boosted by celebrating visionaries such as Charles Rothschild and Ted Smith this year, we are firmly on the front foot and determined to stay there.

René Olivieri (Chair)

Stephanie Hilborne OBE (Chief Executive)


Our Centenary Year

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

2012 was the centenary year for The Wildlife Trusts – marking 100 years since its foundation by the banker and naturalist Charles Rothschild.

We celebrated a century of Rothschild’s vision for saving places for nature with an event at the Natural History Museum in London (our home for our first 40 years) on 16 May 2012, attended by Wildlife Trusts from Alderney to Scotland, from Northern Ireland to Norfolk.

2012 also saw the publication of Tim Sands’ unique summary of our history Wildlife in Trust and the release of a documentary film The Wildlife Trusts: 100 years of nature conservation. Both are available to buy from our online shop

This was followed on 22 May by the presentation of a Centenary Award to Ted Smith, the founder of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and architect of the modern Wildlife Trust movement. Sir David Attenborough presented Ted with the award at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, in front of his family and colleagues.

A short version of the film and a digital archive of Charles Rothschild’s survey documents can also be found on our website.

A week later on 31 May our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, hosted a reception at Highgrove to honour the contribution of volunteers to the Wildlife Trust movement. A leading volunteer from each Trust attended the event from as far afield as Scotland and Devon.

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For more information on our history:


David Attenborough at the presentation of the centenary award to Ted Smith (left) at Woodhall Spa Lincolnshire, 22 May 2012

Our Centenary Year

The Wildlife Trusts

Simon King addresses the audience at the Natural History Museum in London on 16 May 2012

Walkers at Hutton Roofs – a Cumbrian ‘Rothschild Reserve’ on 19 May 2012

Annual Review

2011 2012

A centenary event at Woodwalton Fen, Cambridgeshire

Panel discussion at the launch of Wildlife in Trust, November 2012

A school in Linconshire celebrate with cake Bill Oddie, Aubrey Manning, Stephanie Hilborne and Simon King with more cake!

HRH The Prince of Wales meets Susan Aglionby, a Cumbria WT volunteer at Highgrove

Children getting close to wildlife at a centenary open day at Nower Wood, Surrey

David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum, 16 May 2012

Archive Trust posters on display

It may be our birthday but there’s still work to be done. Joining the campaign to protect Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve

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Living Landscapes

Bioengineering on the River Itchen. A newly-installed margin of wetland plants will provide protection from erosion, as well as wildlife habitat, as it develops. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has restored over 2.5km of bankside habitat here.

Places for nature The Wildlife Trusts manage 2,300 nature reserves – from urban oases to wild and remote countryside. In addition to managing our own land we help many other landowners, businesses, schools and community groups with managing spaces for wildlife. In 2011-12 we advised over 4,500 farmers and landowners and we continue to work in partnership in many places to target conservation work over large areas of land, not least the 150 Living Landscape schemes we are leading. As we work to protect all the UK’s species and habitats the nature of our work is diverse; from creating and sculpting brand new nature areas to protecting wild places where nature is left to its own devices - and everything in between. Thurrock Thameside Nature Park in Essex is a stunning example of the former where a landfill site on the Thames Estuary is being transformed an 845 acre nature park in Essex Wildlife

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The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

A Living Landscape is The Wildlife Trust’s recovery plan for the UK’s natural environment. It encompasses the many ways Wildlife Trusts are working to restore and reconnect habitats but, put simply, it is aiming for a tomorrow where our countryside and cities are richer in wildlife than they are today.

Trust’s biggest-ever project. By contrast there are places where natural regeneration of habitats is gradually taking place, like Short Wood in Northamptonshire where the BCN Wildlife Trust is reconnecting two woodlands. 2011-12 also saw Wildlife Trusts take on a range of new wildlife sites, for example at Rye Harbour in Sussex, the Roaches in the Staffordshire Peak District, Woodside a former colliery near Ripley in Derbyshire, Sands Meadows in Worcestershire and Eithinog near Bangor in North Wales. Elsewhere the Scottish Wildlife Trust successfully ran an appeal to raise funds to buy land to link Upper and Lower Nethan Gorge in the Clyde Valley. Further north the Scottish Trust was also involved with the launch of the Coigach Assynt Living Landscape, aiming to restore habitats and create economic opportunities in an area of north west Scotland.

More information:

Living Landscapes

Championing nature 7 June 2011 saw a significant moment - the launch of the Natural Environment White Paper we had been pressing for for the previous two years. This was a major landmark in the campaign for nature to be put at the heart of government decision-making in England. We are now involved with the implementation of two early initiatives linked to the White Paper with Wildlife Trusts leading 5 of the 12 initial Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) and a third of Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) With a new Coalition Government in place a succession of questions were levelled by Government at the current wildlife policy in England. The Public Forest Estate, planning law, badger culling, the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ and the EU Habitats and Birds Directives all came under review. Concerted lobbying helped to fend off the worst of the threats. Importantly in June 2011 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to deploy the badger BCG vaccine as part of efforts to find a practical solution to bovine TB.

Case Study: Pastures New

Restoring wildlife-rich grasslands in West Dorset

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Wildlife Trusts Wales (the Wales-wide body for Welsh Trusts) was seconded into the Welsh government to help with work on its Natural Environment Framework, a major opportunity to put nature at the heart of Government policy-making in Wales. Trusts around the UK continued to engage with the planning system to prevent and mitigate impacts on wildlife. For example Scottish Wildlife Trust helped to influence the scale and design of Viking wind farm (Shetland) and Kilgallioch wind farm. Planned turbines were removed from sensitive bog habitat, and habitat management plans much improved. With drought affecting much of the country for most of the year, restoring rivers and wetlands continued to be a major area of work. 21 Wildlife Trusts received funding from Defra for 32 separate projects to undertake catchmentscale restoration work as part of delivering Water Framework Directive objectives. A major programme of wetland restoration was also completed at Ulster Wildlife Trust’s Bog Meadows nature reserve in Belfast

Harvesting green hay at for the Pastures New project

Changing agricultural practices and a lack of management have contributed to the decline of West Dorset’s grasslands so that the remaining habitats have become fragmented and isolated. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Pastures New initiative aims to work with local farmers to link and restore these precious habitats. Pastures New provides a range of practical options enabling farmers and landowners to manage grasslands from offering advice, machinery, grazing or livestock to small grants that contribute to fencing and water supply. During the first five years of the project 2,061 hectares of land have been surveyed, 438 landowners advised and 14 demonstrations have been carried out. Volunteers have contributed over 1,000 days of work and have positively affected management or created new grassland habitat on over 4,040 hectares throughout west Dorset. A good example of the project’s approach is the Beaminster Landscape agri-environment scheme. Working with Natural England, Dorset Wildlife Trust was able to collectively enter 11 farms into the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, which enabled it to conserve, link and restore a range of wildlife habitats across the wider landscape. 12

Living Seas Since the 1960s The Wildlife Trusts have been at the forefront of efforts to protect the UK’s amazing sea-life. We manage more than 200 coastal nature reserves, campaign for protection for marine wildlife, survey underwater and coastal sites and ensure wildlife has a voice in marine planning.

The campaign for Marine Protected Areas continues… With a promise from Welsh, Scottish and UK Governments to create a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2012, our campaigning has remained focussed on ensuring that this network provides the best possible protection for our seas. In England, the four regional Marine Conservation Zone (a type of highly protected MPA) projects submitted their final recommendations on the network to Government in September 2011. The Wildlife Trusts were the only wildlife organisation involved in all four projects and the first round of designations are expected in 2013. In 2012 the Welsh Assembly undertook an initial consultation on highly protected Marine Conservation Zones. In Scotland, the Scottish Executive is working on proposals for MPAs, expected in 2013.


The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Surveying coastal habitats near Seven Sisters, Sussex

In Northern Ireland a draft Marine Bill was introduced which should see Marine Conservation Zones created in Northern Irish waters. Ulster Wildlife Trust has been campaigning to ensure that this legislation forms an effective framework for conservation of our seas. Despite progress, the failure of Governments across the UK to designate sites in 2012 means that our campaigns are more urgent than ever. We are continuing to collect signatures on our giant ‘Petition Fish’ to demonstrate public support for MPAs and aim to present these to Government in the New Year. Wildlife Trusts are also leading the charge to survey and gather evidence on precious marine wildlife sites to secure their protection.

Sign our online petition fish:

Living Seas

Defending our existing sites In autumn 2011, the Chancellor announced a review into the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives in England to determine whether this legislation was needlessly slowing up development. We formed a robust defence, demonstrating the value of our Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas (including a number of marine sites protected under this Directive). We even showed that in a number of places, this legislation is not being implemented strongly enough and, as a result, there are now proposals to improve this.

Gathering evidence Trusts around the British Isles continue to survey our marine environment in order to get a better understanding of the species and habitats found in UK seas, including six Wildlife Trusts which organised Seasearch dives around England using volunteer divers. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust continues to monitor seal populations at Donna Nook and Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been working with inshore fishermen to trial the use of ‘pingers’ in fishing nets to reduce levels of cetacean bycatch. Elsewhere, Dorset Wildlife

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Trust launched its Great Dorset Seafood campaign to promote more sustainable fishing techniques.

Championing our seas To demonstrate public support for Marine Protected Areas all 47 Wildlife Trusts have been gathering signatures on our giant ‘Petition Fish’. By summer 2012 we had collected over 180,000 signatures. National Marine Week 2011 saw over 150 events held to promote our marine environment including cetacean spotting, rockpool rambles, kayak surveys, guided walks and talks. In August 2011 Kent Wildlife Trust organised the ‘Tour de Fish’ - a cycle ride along the Kent coast to raise awareness for Marine Protected Areas. The Wildlife Trusts again sponsored a category for the British Society of Underwater Photographers annual competition and the Society of Wildlife Artists bursary to train an artist to dive and record underwater wildlife and habitats.

More information on our marine conservation work at:

Case Study: Surveying seaweeds on the North Sea Coast In August 2011, a group of 20 marine conservationists undertook a pioneering attempt to survey the North Sea Coast of the UK. The team was coordinated by Seasearch East, with funding and support from partners including The Wildlife Trusts’ North Sea Marine Protected Areas programme.

Diver surveying underwater habitat

The survey focussed on recording seaweed, an under-reported species along the East Coast, with the aim of identifying potential areas in need of protection in the North Sea. Wider habitats and species were also surveyed and recorded, and in total 352 species were identified, 126 of which were seaweeds. This included previously unrecorded species and resulted in changes to the known distribution of several seaweeds. During the survey Dr Claire Goodwin, sponge expert from the National Museum of Northern Ireland, discovered a new species of encrusting purple Hymedesmia sponge within the Norfolk Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds recommended Marine Conservation Zone.


Inspiring People

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

The Wildlife Trusts are passionate about nature. We want to inspire people about the natural world so that they value it, understand their relationship with it and take action to protect and restore it.

Kathryn Entwistle with her daughter, winners of the New Residential category in the Big Wildlife Garden competition

Access to nature The Wildlife Trusts have been described as the UK’s leading provider of access to nature. In 2011-12 our nature reserves and visitor centres received over seven million visitors. Wildlife Trusts are a regular sight at local events, county shows, country fairs and city centres up and down the country introducing people to their local wildlife and wild places. During 2011-12 more than 600,000 people took part in walks, talks, training courses and activities we organised, including outreach work with around 130,000 pupils and students. In the last year new visitor and education centres have opened at Woolley Firs in Berkshire, Abberton Reservoir in Essex and Knapp & Papermill in Worcestershire.

Outdoor learning for all ages Mucky boots, wide smiles and eyes bright with the excitement of a new discovery, The Wildlife Trusts

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specialise in the ‘reach out and touch it’ approach to outdoor learning. Around the country we are involved with pioneering schemes like WildPlay, Forest Schools and EcoTots, getting children and families ‘back to nature’ and helping to kindle an early interest in nature. In 2012 The Wildlife Trusts teamed up with the National Trust and the Natural History Museum to relaunch the Cubs’ Naturalist badge. Cubs undertaking the badge need to complete a series of activities studying their local wildlife and habitats. Our junior branch Wildlife Watch continues to develop and we now have more than 150,000 junior members and a network of 200 groups around the country.

Food and farming Growing local food is an important way to minimise our impact on the environment. In January 2012 Avon Wildlife Trust launched the Feed Bristol programme where community groups, schools and individuals

Inspiring People

are growing food on a mix of individual allotments and collective plots. In return for work done on the site, participants ‘earn’ a share of the produce. By the end of 2011-12 nearly 900 people from the local community had been involved. Work has also continued at Stirley Community Farm in the hills overlooking Huddersfield. Here Yorkshire Wildlife Trust provides opportunities for people to get involved with growing local food and for visitors to learn about a working farm.

Gardening for wildlife The Wildlife Trusts have long promoted the idea of gardeners as nature conservationists. Every garden has the potential to form part of a network of spaces for wildlife, creating corridors for wildlife along streets and through urban areas. In 2011 The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society launched the Big Wildlife Garden competition supported by Defra, looking for the UK’s best wildlife gardens. The competition closed in May 2012 with more than 250 entrants in six classes. See the winning gardens at:

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Volunteers Our volunteer taskforce now numbers around 37,000 - around 18 times more than staff. From office administrators to trustees, educational staff to the many voluntary wardens on our nature reserves - our volunteers are a vital part of The Wildlife Trusts.

Health and wellbeing The links between access to nature and improving mental health are becoming increasingly well-documented and many Wildlife Trusts now work with local health and social organisations. Herefordshire Nature Trust has been working closely with the charity Mind to provide opportunities for people who are or have been affected by mental health problems to get involved with the preservation of local orchards. At the Idle Valley nature reserve near Retford, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Ecominds project, again run with Mind, gets people involved in conservation and horticulture activities as part of their rehabilitation.

Case Study: Developing field survey skills in Scotland Developing the next generation of local wildlife experts is vitally important for us. Since May 2011 the Scottish Wildlife Trust has run the Developing Ecological Surveying Skills programme to help address this in Scotland. This takes a practical, field-based approach and aims to fill part of the current skills gap in field surveying and to help secure the future of such skills in Scotland. The trainees will also benefit from a Professional Development Award from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The team has been involved in finding a new species of bat for Scotland - the Leisler’s bat and the trainees have worked with a variety of organisations to collect data and support nature conservation in Scotland, from surveying whales and dolphins to learning the ins and outs of national grassland classification systems. The Trust hopes the trainees will able to put their new skills to use caring for Scotland’s wildlife for many years ahead.

Read the DESS blog at:

Trainee surveyors Eilidh, Katherine and Danny in action


Trust Highlights

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

, . ~: Ulster Lodged a complaint to the Europe commission regarding Northern Ireland government’s failure to protect Strangford Lough SAC and the horse mussel reefs it harbours, which resulted in renewed political attention to resolve this long-running campaign.





Northern Ireland

Map showing the 47 Wildlife Trusts

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The Trust launched an appeal to raise funds for a project to help secure the future of the barn owl in Northern Ireland. The Trust is advising landowners on habitat creation and management for this threatened species.

Scottish The Trust completed a detailed resurvey of 58 lowland raised bogs in Scotland and produced an analysis of change and trends from the 1990s to the present. The estimated costs to restore them all to good condition is £21m.


2011-12 saw the successful completion of Year 3 of the Scottish Beaver Trial, with two out of the four beaver families successfully breeding again. A Beaver Trial Education Pack was produced and sent to every school in Scotland.

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Secured funding for another two years of the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project. Recent analysis has shown a stabilisation of red squirrel populations across the project area, with evidence of reds returning in some places where they were previously absent.

Trust Highlights

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012



North Wales

In the first year of the Living Landscape project around Ystradgynlais, volunteers gave 250 days clearing bracken from limestone grassland and preparing ground for fencing and grazing of rhos pasture. Rare marsh fritillary butterflies and their devil’s-bit scabious foodplant will benefit.

The pearl-bordered fritillary, a UK BAP priority species, was successfully reintroduced to Llanymynech Rocks nature reserve and are now breeding. There are less than ten populations of this scarce butterfly in Wales.

The jumping spider Sitticus caricis, a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority species, was rediscovered at Cors Goch NNR managed by the Trust.



South & West Wales



Raised funds to purchase Skokholm Lighthouse and surrounding land and began another appeal to enable refurbishment of the lighthouse in preparation for visitors.

Habitat restoration began at Llanbwchllyn, a 67 acre wetland site of mesotrophic lake, wet woodland, swamp, fen and wet grassland. The removal of conifers will help restore water quality and allow regeneration of these sensitive habitats.

Raised more than £126,000 in three weeks from its members, the public and local statutory organisations to purchase and safeguard over 28 acres of unimproved wetland on the Gwent Levels, a GWT Living Landscape area.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the creation of a new nature reserve at Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows, forming a chain of connected nature reserves along 7km of the Nene Valley.

Woolley Firs Environmental Education Centre in Berkshire opened its doors for the first time in April 2012 and welcomed hundreds of local school children to experience nature, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and many other donors.


Avon Launched the Feed Bristol programme, providing land for local people, schools and community groups to grow organic and wildlifefriendly food in the heart of the city.


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The Wildlife Trusts

Trust Highlights Birmingham & Black Country Welcomed Caroline Spelman MP, then Secretary of State for DEFRA, to the Black Country to mark the announcement of England’s first 12 Nature Improvement Areas. Birmingham and the Black Country Living Landscape is the only completely urban NIA.




2011 2012



An appeal raised more than £10,000 from members alone to buy an additional 22ha of additional peatlands at Danes Moss. This SSSI is Cheshire’s largest lowland raised bog and a key regional carbon store and habitat for butterflies and dragonflies.

The successful Seaquest Netsafe Project came to an end after three years. Data collected has enhanced knowledge of how cetaceans use Cornish waters and recommendations have been made to help improve protection for these animals in inshore waters.


Annual Review

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Launched the ‘Uplands for Juniper’ project at Lowick Common to protect UK BAP listed species. Volunteers worked to enrich Cumbria’s juniper sites by planting new trees and maintaining existing juniper habitat.

Started to fundraise for a new landscape rehabilitation project in the Lower Derwent Valley. The DerwentWISE project aims to safeguard and restore the landscape through extending habitats, improving access and getting local people involved.

Emsworthy became the Trust’s newest nature reserve. Its 30 ha of grazing pasture and moorland mire lie in the middle of Dartmoor. Wildlife highlights include the rare marsh fritillary butterfly, along with a dazzling display of bluebells each May.





An army of volunteers won their 50 year battle to remove invasive rhododendron taking over Brownsea Island nature reserve, restoring the woodland habitat for red squirrels and other wildlife at this special place for wildlife.

Around 7.5 ha of degraded peat bog was acquired adjacent to Stanley Moss nature reserve near Sunniside for a nominal £1 from local developer the Banks Group. The Trust will undertake work to restore the site.

A stunning new visitor centre and nature reserve opened at birdwatching hotspot Abberton Reservoir, a site of international importance for wildfowl. Michaela Strachan performed the official opening duties joined by 500 people.


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Trust Highlights

Gloucestershire Became the first non-government organisation to vaccinate badgers against bovine TB on its own land. The five year programme aims to contribute to finding a practical solution to the disease and to explore the practicalities of vaccination in the field.


The Wildlife Trusts

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Undertook award-winning river restoration work along several hundred metres of the Itchen and its tributaries at Winnall Moors Nature Reserve. Wild salmon and trout quickly responded to the improved water flow and better habitat.

Gained funding from the Local Food programme to set up an innovative social enterprise to conserve traditional orchards through marketing their produce and providing opportunities for training, in association with Herefordshire Mind.

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Waterford Heath Nature Reserve was formally handed over on a lease from Lafarge Aggregates. Work has begun to restore habitats for the scarce grizzled skipper butterfly at the former quarry. The site will be protected for at least the duration of the 85 year lease.

2011 2012




Hertfordshire & Middlesex

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Isles of Scilly


Launched the Big Scilly Bee project to search for the species, unique to the Isles of Scilly, which had not been seen since 2006. Bee identification training for locals and visitors happily resulted in a confirmed sighting.

The Historic Dover Downlands Project saw the lease of Old Park Hill as a nature reserve and the conservation management of Dover Castle in partnership with English Heritage. This has significantly extended the amount of chalk grassland under restoration in Kent.

Lancashire Launched an appeal to save Chat Moss, one of the last remaining mossland areas in the region, from peat extraction. Funds raised enabled the Trust to buy some areas of the site and save them from destruction.

Leicestershire & Rutland Launched a youth-led environmental project, the Oadby and Wigston Nature and Environment Team. Fifteen teenagers planned activities exploring, protecting and inspiring others about nature at Brocks Hill Country Park and Lucas Marsh Local Nature Reserve.

Lincolnshire Connected existing spaces for wildlife with three significant land purchases, including acquisition of 13ha of conifer woodland linking the two lowland heathland reserves of Kirkby Moor and Moor Farm.


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The Wildlife Trusts

Trust Highlights

Annual Review

2011 2012




Celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011. The year was marked with an exploration of its activistled beginnings, a parliamentary reception and a public event which looked to the future, ‘London: how wild can it get?’

The Brecks Heathland project, a partnership with the Forestry Commission and Natural England to manage eight nature reserves, has led to a successful year for stone curlew, with six chicks fledging, and seen breeding nightjar for the first time.

The Trust secured funding for the Red Squirrel North England project. The funds of more than £2million will be used to implement red squirrel conservation from the Mersey to the Scottish Borders and Northumberland.



Website traffic increased by around 90%, due in part to the success of a live webcam featuring a city centre peregrine falcon nest. The camera, a joint initiative with Nottingham Trent University, also proved popular with the Trust’s social media followers.

Following a massive public appeal, the Trust bought 143ha of Greno Woods, an ancient woodland in the north of Sheffield. This represents a landmark for this urban Trust because it is the first nature reserve it has owned rather than leased.

Twig boat regattas, ecolympics, kite making and woodland adventure trails have brought nearly 3,000 young people and their families into the green spaces of Telford over the last three years. The Telford Access to Nature project was funded by Big Lottery Fund and Natural England.




The Catcott Great Fen Restoration Project has transformed 30 acres of former peat diggings to reed bed, open water and fen providing ideal habitat for bittern, crane and marsh harrier. The restoration on the Somerset Levels was possible thanks to £51,000 in donations to an appeal.

The Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership was awarded £1.8million of lottery funding to protect, enhance and celebrate an area of over 49,000 acres fringing the Peak District. Work includes the improvement of habitat for lapwings and brown hares and wildflower meadow creation.

The Trust completed its largest ever land purchase to acquire Knettishall Heath. One million pounds was raised in the first weeks of 2012 to buy the 434 acre site in the Brecks.



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The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012



Tees Valley

Engaged with 15,000 young people across Surrey through its ‘Outreach Education’ programme. The Surrey Greenspace Project Team run ‘Forest School’ sessions and sessions where local school children take part in and learn about important habitat restoration work.

Took on management of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, safeguarding the future of one of the most important wildlife sites in the South East. It supports little tern, sandwich tern, and an exceptional range of plants and insects.

Completed an ecological condition assessment of 1,000 ha of ancient woodlands in the Tees Valley. Despite a lack of recent management, regeneration of native trees and native ground flora is good.




Completed a large scale reed bed project at Brandon Marsh which involved the excavation and reprofiling of 20,000 cubic metres of soil on the site. Once the reed bed matures it will become the largest area of this habitat type in the West Midlands.

The Source to Sea project is tackling non-native invasive plants such as Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed along the River Avon – the first time this has been attempted on such a vast scale.

Harriet Baldwin MP opened a new centre at the Knapp and Papermill nature reserve. It provides a base for school visits, community groups and incorporates a bat loft and rainwater system that feeds a great crested newt pond.




The Yorkshire Peat Partnership led the re-vegetation of 36 ha of bare peat, the blocking of 350,000 metres of drains and construction of 40,000 dams to help prevent further degradation and loss of peatlands in the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and areas of the South Pennines.

A pilot scientific study involving the University of Liverpool, The British Trust for Ornithology and others took place on Les Etacs. Tracking devices were attached to gannets breeding on the colony to trace them to their feeding grounds at sea.

Ancient woodlands on the Isle of Man, many likely to be survivors of prehistoric forests that once covered the Island, have been identified and mapped to create an inventory for the first time.



Crown Dependencies

Trust Highlights

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The Wildlife Trusts

Financial & Organisational Overview

Annual Review

2011 2012

The Wildlife Trusts Patron

Vice Presidents

HRH The Prince of Wales

Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS Prof Aubrey Manning OBE

Prof J Chris Baines Nick Baker Bill Bolsover CBE Prof David Macdonald CBE DSc FRS Bill Oddie OBE Chris Packham Julian Pettifer OBE Prof Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL


Chief Executive

Michael Allen OBE (until November 2011) Paul Wickham (November 2011 - April 2012) René Olivieri (April 2012 onwards)

Stephanie Hilborne OBE

President Simon King OBE

Presidents Emeritus

Where our funding comes from The Wildlife Trusts are very grateful for financial support from members and legators. This accounts for the majority of our income and is vital to our efforts to secure nature’s recovery. Grants for particular projects are received from local authorities, statutory agencies and governments through rural development programmes, and regional development agencies. Landfill Tax Credits have also provided vital support for land purchase and community engagement.

The support of key lottery operators and distributors, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the BIG Lottery Fund and the Peoples Postcode Lottery, is greatly appreciated as is that from a wide range of charitable trusts including the Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Trust, the Tubney Charitable Trust, the Arcadia Fund, the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust, the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund and the Michael Uren Foundation.

The Wildlife Trusts’ income analysis





90 15 75





102 19












•• •





15 107



137 22 115


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*excluding inter-Trust grants and contributions



Financial & Organisational Overview

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

UK wide supporters and partners

Biodiversity Benchmark

The Wildlife Trusts enjoy many hundreds of partnerships and relationships with businesses right across the UK. We are grateful to receive support to the central charity from a range of companies, agencies and charitable Trusts. Additionally we have three major UK wide corporate partnerships:

The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark is the only award for business designed to recognise and reward the way in which businesses manage their landholdings for wildlife. There are currently 46 sites accredited covering 5,500 acres of land. In 2011-2012 Biodiversity Benchmark was achieved by: MEPC Hillington Park, Met Office Head Office, EDF Energy Hinkley Point B, Aggregate Industries Ltd Back Lane and Holme Park Quarries.

Aggregate Industries Ltd Our long-term partnership with Aggregate Industries continued to mature as we approached our Centenary and the Company played a major role in helping us to prepare. Its continued support helped both with our Conferences for Wildlife Trust Directors and as we looked to develop cutting edge methods of communicating our vision of a Living Landscape. AI remains committed to working with Wildlife Trusts in the communities where it operates.

Ribena (GSK Plc) As a major purchaser of blackcurrants, Ribena is in a position to work closely with the growers. Since 2004 the company has worked with The Wildlife Trusts and blackcurrant growers across the country to implement land management plans for the benefit of wildlife.

Sites owned by the following companies retained certification following reassessment: Veolia Environmental Ltd, Viridor Ltd, Eli Lilly Ltd, Marshall’s Plc, BAA Heathrow, British Airways, Center Parcs Ltd, Aggregate Industries Ltd, Tarmac Ltd, Eon UK, EDF Energy, Springfields Fuels Ltd. Sites owned by the following companies started the assessment process or underwent ongoing assessment during the year: Network Rail HS1, Viridor Ltd, Veolia Environmental Ltd, Aggregate Industries Ltd, Bluewater.

Vine House Farm Ltd Our partnership with Vine House Farm Bird Foods continued to strengthen and grow. Wildlife is a priority on this 1,800 acre, conservation award winning farm where as much seed as possible is grown, packaged and despatched to bird feeders across the country. Five percent of every sale of bird seed is donated to customers’ local Wildlife Trusts. This year donations totalled over £130,000 with the running total passing the half million mark.

New area of wild parkland created at Merlin House, an MEPC site near Glasgow

Aggregate Industries’ Holme Park Quarry and Back Lane Quarry receive their Biodiversity Benchmark certification

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Photography Credits

The Wildlife Trusts

Annual Review

2011 2012

Picture Credits Cover Family at Westhay Moor nature reserve, Somerset – Paul Harris/2020 Vision. P3 Wild daffodils at Betty Daw’s Wood - Barney. P4 Cassiobury volunteers – Robert Hopkins. P6-7 (L-R): Diver – Bryony Chapman, Petition Fish – Yorkshire WT, Gardeners at Framfield Allotments – Cairis Hickey, Chalkhill blue butterfly - Margaret Holland , Oak seedling at Gamlingay – BCN WT, NIA launch – Birmingham & Black Country WT, National Marine Week event in Cornwall – Jaclyn Pearson, Landowner advice – Tom Marshall, Monitoring peatland – Paul Wilkinson, Cambourne, Cambridgeshire – Matthew Roberts, Cub with Naturalist badge – Natural History Museum, Volunteers hedgelaying – BBOWT, Trust staff being interviewed for television – Tom Marshall, Cheshire Wildlife Trust open day at Eaton Hall – Tom Marshall. P10 Ted Smith and David Attenborough – Tom Marshall. P12 Bioengineering on River Itchen near Winchester – Dennis Bright. P13 – Harvesting green hay – Dorset WT. P14 Beach survey at Seven Sisters – Sussex WT. P15 Diver off the Norfolk coast – Rob Spray. P16 Winners New Residential category of BWG competition – Tom Marshall. P17 DESS surveyors – DESS. P18-22 Credited to individual Wildlife Trusts unless otherwise stated. BCN WT – John Abbott. Cheshire WT – Sue Crookes. Cornwall WT - Eleanor Stone. Derbyshire WT - Kieron Huston. Devon WT – Simon Williams. Dorset - Nicky Hoar. Gloucestershire WT – Neil Aldridge. Gwent WT – J Prince. Hampshire & Isle of Wight WT – Matthew Doggett. Herts & Middlesex WT – Andrew Kerr. Isles of Scilly WT – Elizabeth Clemments. Kent WT – Ray Lewis. Leicestershire & Rutland WT – Rachel Ibbotson. Montgomeryshire WT - Tamasine Stretton. Norfolk – Lawrie Webb. Northumberland WT - Peter Skillen. North Wales WT - Richard Gallon. Scottish WT - Steve Gardner, Pete Matthews. Sheffield WT – Chris Senior. Somerset WT – Stefan Johansson. Staffordshire WT – David Cadman. Sussex WT – Dave Kilbey. Tees Valley – Zsuzsanna Bird. Ulster WT – Bernard Picton, Gary Cox. Warwickshire WT – Scott Butler. Wiltshire WT – David Rawlings. Yorkshire WT – Paul Wilkinson. Inside back cover Stac Pollaidh and Loch Lurgainn – Mark Hamblin / 2020 Vision / Naturepl.

Design & Print by Socio Design

Annual Review

Stac Pollaidh at dawn with Loch Lurgainn in foreground. Scottish Wildlife Trust is a lead partner in the Coigach/ Assynt Living Landscape which is improving habitats for wildlife and creating economic opportunities for local people in this area of north west Scotland.


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The Wildlife Trusts: 2012 review  
The Wildlife Trusts: 2012 review  

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