How is the Trust funded?
The funding for our core work comes through membership subscriptions, legacies, local fundraising activities and a range of other local initiatives. The only regular government support that we receive is linked to land that we manage under High Level Stewardship agreements, through DEFRA.
Our project work, for example our Brue valley Living Landscape Project, is funded through a variable mix of charitable trust funding, private donations, European funding through the EU WAVE Programme in partnership with Somerset County Council and The Landfill Communities Fund.
Our membership and volunteers
Somerset Wildlife Trust (formally known as The Somerset Trust for Nature Conservation) was formed in 1964 by a group of individuals who recognised the desperate need to take action to secure the future of wildlife in our wonderful and diverse County.
From the small beginning of fifteen members who joined by paying £1 each at the inaugural meeting the Trust has grown to be Somerset’s leading environmental charity with over 21,000 members. This has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of the Trust’s members and volunteers. Volunteers are the life blood of the Trust and they have transformed it from a small band of dedicated members to a vital and influential charity with 75 nature reserves, 10 area groups, many specialist and practical conservation groups and hundreds of volunteers working in support of the Trust. This growth brought the need for part and full time staff to support the work of the volunteers and to expand the Trust’s activities and influence.
Our 21,000 members vary from those with an armchair interest, through to those who have had a lifelong involvement in nature conservation. We have parents and grandparents who join so that their children and grandchildren can develop an interest through our Watch Groups. Some are visitors to Somerset who fall in love with the County. Others are those who are worried about the future of the natural world and want to strengthen the work of the Trust.
Our core funding comes from our members whose annual subscriptions provide the essential backbone of funding for the work of the Trust. The Trust is hugely grateful to those that have chosen to leave a gift in their will to us. Twice a year we have appeals which raise further vital funds for specific projects. Our local group volunteers also raise money through a range of activities, including plant sales, walks and talks.
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