His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales

Patron of The Wildlife Trusts since 1977

Robin Bell

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. 

His Royal Highness at the royal premiere of 1978 film Watership Down. L-R Tim Sands, Gren Lucas and Christopher Cadbury

His Royal Highness at the royal premiere of 1978 film Watership Down. L-R Tim Sands, Gren Lucas and Christopher Cadbury

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

His Royal Highness Prince Charles speaks to young Watch members at the launch of the British Wildlife Appeal, 1985

His Royal Highness Prince Charles speaks to young Watch members at the launch of the British Wildlife Appeal, 1985

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."
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
Paul Gompertz, Director of Devon Wildlife Trust (left), with Sir David Attenborough and HRH The Prince of Wales on a Culm grassland site, 1992

Paul Gompertz, Director of Devon Wildlife Trust (left), with Sir David Attenborough and HRH The Prince of Wales on a Culm grassland site, 1992

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

Prince Charles at Highgrove Coronation Meadows (c) Robin Bell

Prince Charles at Highgrove Coronation Meadows (c) Robin Bell

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.

 The Prince of Wales launching the Water For Wildlife campaign

 The Prince of Wales launching the Water For Wildlife campaign 1992

Supporting our special places

Prince Charles formally opening Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's Lower Woods Reserve in 1997

Prince Charles formally opening Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's Lower Woods Reserve in 1997

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.

Prince Charles at Dorset Wildlife Trust's Kingcombe Nature Reserve in 2017, celebrating its 30 years anniversary

Prince Charles at Dorset Wildlife Trust's Kingcombe Nature Reserve in 2017, celebrating its 30 years anniversary (c) Katharine Davies

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.

Wildlife In Trust book

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.