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Charity spotlight: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Who They Are and What They Do

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust are the leading local charity dedicated to the conservation of Cornwall's outstanding wildlife and wild places, now and for the future. They protect Cornwall's wildlife and wild places on land and in our seas. They are passionate about conservation and have helped people enjoy nature for over 50 years.

The trust managing 57 nature reserves, covering over 5,500 acres, that give refuge to rare and endangered species and by working in partnership with farmers, land owners and fishermen they support wildlife friendly management through Living Landscapes and Living Seas projects.

They also organise campaigning and lobbying to protect wildlife and its environment to influence government policy. By recording and monitoring wildlife, the trust shares their information, knowledge and expertise with local and national organisations with the aim of protecting as much wildlife as possible.

Another main aim of the trust is to inspire people. They carry this out by raising awareness about Cornwall's wildlife through education, events and volunteer opportunities. They also help children have fun with nature through Fox Club, their junior wildlife club aimed at primary aged children.

History

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is a registered charity established in 1962 by a group of highly committed and forward looking individuals to safeguard Cornwall’s habitats and associated wildlife. The Trust fulfils a unique role in that it is concerned solely with Cornwall and all aspects of conserving the county’s wildlife.

The need during the years of the Second World War to grow food on marginal land led to a growing realisation that wildlife and the countryside were generally under threat. Naturalists’ Trusts were being set up in some counties to conserve their wildlife and sites of ecological value, under the auspices of what is now The Wildlife Trusts.

In 1962, the Cornwall Naturalists’ Trust was launched. The inaugural meeting chose a committee. Within a few months, we were leased our first nature reserve, Hawkes Wood, by Miss Sewart, who later generously gave the reserve to the Trust.

From its inception, the Trust was asked to give technical advice on land management and on planning matters. Our determination that all opinions must be scientifically based on valid data resulted in our advice being increasingly sought by local authorities and other statutory bodies.

In our first year they had 63 members, and sub-committees were formed to oversee their different activities. Membership continued to grow as the existence of the Trust and the appreciation of its efforts became more widely known. More demands were being made by local authorities and more reserves were being acquired.

In 1974, it was recognised that the Trust could no longer function adequately with only its indefatigable band of volunteers and a part time Administrative Officer was appointed. Five years later, the Trust appointed its first Conservation Officer and opened an office at the National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens. It became possible, with workers who were paid through the Manpower Services Commission, to extend the work being done by the Trust in all areas and the Trust moved into the next exciting phase of its life.

Although the name was changed in 1983 to the Cornwall Trust for Nature Conservation, the aims and constitution remained broadly the same: the recording and study of important ecological sites; the setting up of nature reserves; promotion of educational activities to these ends; and generally to encourage the conservation of Cornwall’s wildlife.

During the 1980s there was considerable development of the Trust's work, largely funded by government employment schemes. This came to an end in 1988 leaving the Trust with two full time staff: a Conservation Officer and a Secretary.

At the same time, thanks to a generous bequest from the late Dr George Allsop, the Trust moved to new headquarters at Allet. It was at this time that the Trust began to develop consultancy work to raise funds, enabling the employment of additional staff. With continued expansion, the post of Director was created in April 1991 and the name of Cornwall Wildlife Trust was adopted in March 1994 in line with a national initiative to unify Wildlife Trust names to facilitate marketing and publicity.

As concern for wildlife and the countryside has grown, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has gone from strength to strength. Now, with more than 17,000 members, over 1,000 active volunteers and over 150 Business Supporters the Trust can build on the secure base that it has established.

Over the past few decades, a great deal of change has taken place in Cornwall’s countryside. Happily, in conservation terms Cornwall remains one of the richest and most diverse counties in Britain and, through its work since 1962, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has worked, and will continue to work to ensure that this status is maintained.

How You Can Help

Cornwall's wildlife needs your help. By supporting Cornwall Wildlife Trust you will be protecting Cornwall's wildlife for the future, something you can be so proud of. From joining our 17,000 strong membership, volunteering with them, supporting our appeals, making a donation to simply buying from their online shop: it all makes a difference.

Become a Member - Members are the strength and backbone of our organisation and provide us with vital income every year. If you join as a member you will help to secure the future of Cornwall’s very special environment and wildlife.

Business Support We enjoy the support of over 150 businesses, large and small, from a variety of sectors. Your business can help support our vital wildlife conservation work in a number of ways, to suit your business. By pledging your support, you are helping to ensure a future for Cornwall's wildlife and wild places.

Make A Donation - Cornwall's wildlife and wild places needs the support of people just like you. Without your help, the cannot continue our important work.

Support Their Appeals - Cornwall is so special and supports a diverse range of fascinating wildlife, habitats and landscapes, and they are everybody’s responsibility to protect. The Cornwall Wildlife Trust want future generations to appreciate and enjoy the same special places that thrive in Cornwall today. By supporting appeals, you are contributing to vital conservation work, and making a difference to the future of wildlife in Cornwall. With your support, they can help to ensure native species, precious habitats and special places can be treasured and protected for many years to come. 

Volunteer -Volunteers have always been, and will always be, important to Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Without volunteers the Trust would never have come into existence. Volunteering for the Trust is rewarding and beneficial for both you and us.

Fundraise - Are you ready to help Cornwall's wildlife and wild places and take up a fundraising challenge? If so, they need people like you! Organising a fundraising event or getting sponsored to do an activity are fantastic ways to raise money for the Trust. Whether you are running a coffee and cake morning, a bike ride, a quiz, a plant sale or a fun run, they can help make your activity be the best it can be.

If you are interested in learning more about this fantastic charity, there is a wealth of further information on their website - www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

5% of the proceeds from sales of our Cornwall Wildlife Trust Christmas Card collection will go towards helping to protect Cornwall's beautiful wildlife and wild places.