What We Do

Children playing on a restored heathland nature reserve at Spalford Warren, Nottinghamshire. This is one of Nottinghamshire's last remaining heathlands and a valuable open space for the local community.

Our goal is nature’s recovery, on land and at sea.

We recognise how important nature is in all aspects of our daily lives and believe it should be at the heart of our society. To achieve this we stand up and work for nature on all fronts.

We rescue and restore places for wildlife and people, and influence and help others to do the same. Each year we reach millions of people to inspire them about wildlife and the natural world.

Every Wildlife Trust is run by and accountable to the local people passionate about the wildlife and wild places in their area. Together we have a mission to create Living Landscapes, to secure Living Seas and to inspire people to value and take action for nature.

Our impact in numbers (2013/14)

300,000 pupils and students are given a wild experience each year by WT, helping us to create a future generation that loves and cares for wildlife. Our 260 regular children’s groups help us to nurture this love of wildlife in children from a very young age.

11,000 wildlife events run in local communities.

800,000 members (including 150,000 children and young people)

43,000 volunteers working to create vital habitats and inspire people about wildlife. In return, we know our volunteers receive substantial health and wellbeing benefits from being outdoors and connecting to nuture.

95,000 hectares of land in our nature reserves (woods, hills,meadows, moors, coats and urban nature parks) which recieve millions of visits every year

215,000 hectares of land influenced positively for wildlife by working with landowners, farmers and managers

5,500 hectares of land within our Biodiversity Benchmark scheme for businesses who want to manage their land for wildlife

6,500 planning applications reponded to, and ten of thousands more vetted and checked for impacts on wildlife

How we work

nature near you - 93% of the population in England and Wales live within 6 miles of a Wildlife Trust nature reserve (in Scotland the figure is 10 miles)

Wherever you are there is a Wildlife Trust working with local communities, for wildlife and wild places in your area. We are a federation of Wildlife Trusts around the UK with 38 in England, 6 in Wales and Trusts in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Alderney. Nearly all our staff and volunteers work in the individual Wildlife Trusts and 98% of our money is spent locally. You can read more on Who We Are here.

We have a relatively small central team of around 40 people which works on issues of collective concern, for example to secure recognition of the value of wildlife, to campaign for Marine Protected Areas, to influence European agriculture policy, and to help support and link Wildlife Trusts together.

The complex array of pressures affecting wildlife means our approach varies. Loss of natural habitats, deregulation, major infrastructure projects, a lack of appreciation of nature’s value to society, wildlife crime – all threaten our wildlife and wild places and affect our own wellbeing. The Wildlife Trusts’ key role is our presence on the ground in local communities where we work with a wide range of different people, including landowners, businesses and local fishing industries, to try to achieve change for wildlife. We also often work in partnership with community groups and environmental and social NGOs whose objectives we share. Where possible we try to build consensus and find pragmatic solutions which achieve the real outcomes for wildlife that we all want to see - nature's recovery in communities across the UK. 

What We Do

Millions of people benefit from the work of The Wildlife Trusts every year. Here’s a taste of what we’re doing day in, day out... probably somewhere near you:

Restoring wildlife and natural processes.

We work to restore sites to their full wildlife potential and see the return of plants and animals to places where they have been lost. Beavers, dormice, ospreys, butterflies, dragonflies and juniper bushes are just some of the threatened wildlife returning thanks to Wildlife Trusts around the UK. 


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Creating future generations that love wildlife.

Every year we help hundreds of thousands of children to find nature and increase their confidence outdoors through family activities, forest schools, regular children’s nature groups and school outreach sessions. We want children to go home with leaves in their hair, dirt on their hands and a little bit of nature in their heart.


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Creating connected landscapes for people and wildlife.

The Wildlife Trusts have more than 100 initiaitves around the UK restoring whole landscapes for wildlife. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Great Heath project (pictured) is one - protecting ‘stepping stones’ of habitat for wildlife by purchasing 1,435 acres of land to restore and connect urban heaths around Bournemouth and Poole.


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Helping people feel better with nature

The Wildlife Trusts run a range of projects across the country where time spent in nature helps to improve physical and mental health and contribute to a sense of well-being - from developing wildlife gardens in hospitals to woodland and gardening ‘ecotherapy’ projects.


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Helping others to act for nature.

We provide advice to 5,300 landowners each year on how to manage and enhance over 200,000 ha of land for wildlife. We also work with businesses to help them understand and appreciate the value of nature and to take action for it.


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Saving and caring for wild places.

The Wildlife Trusts care for 2,300 nature reserves – wild marshes, moors, woods, meadows, lakes, rivers, inner city sanctuaries, beaches and islands. Most people live within a few miles of one of our nature reserves. Many Wildlife Trusts run appeals every year to buy new land for wildlife.


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Campaigning and influencing.

We run local and national campaigns for wildlife. These use a range of approaches - behind the scenes advocacy with decision-makers, collecting petition signatures, digital ecampaigns and raising awareness at events. Current collective campaigns include creating protected areas at sea for whales, sharks and dolphins, supporting a ban on damaging neonicotonoid pesticides and calling for new environmental legislation in England - a Nature and Wellbeing Act.


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Expanding our knowledge.

We are involved with hundreds of scientific research programmes and surveys. For example many Wildlife Trusts run Seasearch and Shoresearch projects where volunteer surveyors record wildlife along the coast and under the sea. This vital work helps to identify areas along the coast in need of protection for wildlife. Click on the link below to see a Shoresearch project in action in Cornwall.


Watch a Shoresearch video

Help us - join your Wildlife Trust

Wherever you live in the UK, there is a Wildlife Trust for your area. If you want to support us you can help by joining your local Wildlife Trust today. 800,000 people are already members but we always need more! Thank you!


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