100 years of The Wildlife Trusts marked with commemorative history book

Monday 12th November 2012

A century of action for wildlife is today marked by the first comprehensive history of The Wildlife Trusts.

With more than 500 stunning photographs, maps and fascinating ephemera, Wildlife in Trust charts the changing fortunes of the local nature conservation movement founded to protect UK wildlife. 

Author Tim Sands recounts stories of local activism, visionary leaders, hard-fought campaigns, organisational growing pains and battles lost and won. 

Sands commences his account in 1912 with banker and naturalist, Charles Rothschild, who in recognising the importance of saving places for wildlife, laid the foundations for nature conservation as we know it today.  His new organisation, the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves had one main objective - to save Britain’s finest wildlife sites.

Wildlife in Trust is divided into three sections: a history of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts; individual histories of all 47 Wildlife Trusts in their own words plus a comprehensive reference section

From Rothschild’s first list of potential nature reserves in 1915, Wildlife in Trust covers: the landmark political Acts, the explosion of the local Wildlife Trust movement in the 1960s and its subsequent development; the salvage and rescue operation to save woods, meadows, wetlands, bogs, and heaths; the dawn of marine conservation; the decline and recovery of species like the otter, plus the later move to restore wildlife across whole landscapes.

At 792 pages, Wildlife in Trust is divided into three sections: a history of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts; individual histories of all 47 Wildlife Trusts in their own words plus a comprehensive reference section.  The book features photographs and maps from The Wildlife Trusts’ archives and elsewhere.

Tim Sands has worked for more than 45 years in wildlife conservation, experiencing and influencing at first hand the dramatic development of the non-Governmental sector.  For much of this time he has been involved with The Wildlife Trusts, helping to lead on issues, including better protection for badgers, otters, wetlands and peatlands. 

For an interview with Tim about the writing of Wildlife in Trust, please visit http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlifeintrust

Wildlife In Trust is available to buy for £25 at www.wildlifetrusts.org/shop and good book sellers.  The publisher is Elliott & Thompson Ltd. 

Members of The Wildlife Trusts can receive 15% discount through the Winter issue of Natural World the membership magazine for Wildlife Trust members around the UK.

Centenary film
A 17 minute documentary about the history of The Wildlife Trusts is available online.  See www.wildlifetrusts.org/100   A DVD is available to buy at wildlifetrusts.org/shop

Online historic archive
The Wildlife Trusts hold fascinating historic documents relating to Rothschild’s extraordinary work undertaking the UK’s first habitat audit.  Originally held at the Natural History Museum, these wooden drawers containing maps, letters and survey forms are now a publicly-available interactive online archive.  It includes fascinating correspondence discussing potential nature reserve sites between Rothschild, his team of botanists and surveyors, eminent figures of the time, and landowners.

History
The Wildlife Trusts have a wealth of detail and wonderful photographs relating to the organisation’s history at http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/100 and http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/history.

Tagged with: Centenary & anniversaries