40 years of support
In April 1977, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales accepted the invitation to become the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts’ Patron.
In July 1978, His Royal Highness announced his intention that proceeds from the Royal Premier of Watership Down would be donated to the Wildlife Trusts. This was the beginning of over 40 years of support for the Trusts.
British Wildlife Appeal
The Prince of Wales launched our first national appeal, the British Wildlife Appeal, at the Natural History Museum in London in October 1985. With the backing of HRH and Sir David Attenborough, the appeal raised in excess of £16 million for wildlife.
"[TWT's 1990 Health of the UK report] made us face up to the state of our own, rather special piece of the natural world, here and now."
A knowledgeable conservationist, our Patron has supported defining moments within the UK's conservation movement. His Royal Highness has spoken at the launch of significant reports such as the 1990 Health of the UK report, which he declared made us “face up to the state of our own rather special piece of the natural world, here and now.”
Leading by example
In 1990, HRH announced that the use of peat would be banned in the gardens of his home at Highgrove and any landscape projects within the Duchy of Cornwall in support of our Peatlands Campaign.
In 1992, The Prince of Wales supported us by speaking at the launch of the Low Flows: Dying of Thirst report at Devon Wildlife Trust, promoting our Water for Wildlife campaign.
Supporting our special places
Throughout the years, His Royal Highness has shown his support in person at many of our nature reserves, including Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's Lower Woods and Manx Wildlife Trust’s Close Sartfield wildflower meadows.
The Prince of Wales has also worked very closely with several Trusts on the Save our Squirrels campaign, including work to create a buffer zone across the south of Scotland to prevent the northward spread of the squirrel pox virus.
The Wildlife Trusts are extremely grateful for His Royal Highness's support over the past four decades.
You can read more about The Wildlife Trusts and our relationship with the Prince of Wales in our centenary celebration book, Wildlife in Trust: A hundred years of nature conservation by Tim Sands.