Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Celebrating 50-years of Local Wildlife Conservation

 3rd Mar 2014


Love Somerset, Love Nature

Simon Nash, Somerset Wildlife Trust Chief-Executive is available for press & broadcast interviews on request ­- 01823 652413

Thurlbear Wood by Matthew MarshallLove Somerset, Love Nature -­ that’s the message Somerset Wildlife Trust is asking local people to get behind as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary with a new programme of community events, activities and fundraising.

In February Somerset Wildlife Trust will mark 50-years of nature conservation in the county. To mark its Golden Anniversary year the Trust is launching four major campaigns to celebrate some of the  county’s most treasured habitats and species:

• Love Somerset, Love Woodlands ­ - April
• Love Somerset, Love Meadows ­ - June
• Love Somerset, Love Seas ­ - July/August
• Love Somerset, Love Wetlands ­ - July/August

With woodland, meadow, wetland and marine environments, Somerset has a wonderful and rich diversity of wildlife - home to 88 of the UK's most threatened species and two globally threatened species*. Habitat restoration projects in woodlands, meadows and wetlands have already seen the recovery of otter and bittern on the internationally important Somerset Levels and the large blue butterfly on the Polden Hills in South Somerset.

Custodians of vital habitat

Simon Nash, Somerset Wildlife Trust Chief-Executive said: “As custodian of more than 1,700**hectares of vital wildlife habitat, Somerset Wildlife Trust is leading the way in local conservation.  In our anniversary year we want to do more to protect the things that local people love most about Somerset. Our natural environment inspires and provides for us all so we’re asking individuals and community groups who love nature to join us and do more for wildlife this year.”

50 ways to raise £50

For its 50th anniversary the Trust is mounting an ambitious £500,000 fundraising drive to support its conservation work which invests exclusively in local projects like coppicing Mendip woodlands for dormice, wetland re-creation for bittern on the Somerset Levels and grazing grasslands for green-winged orchids in South Somerset. Individuals and community groups wishing to support the Trust’s anniversary drive to raise £500,000 can download a ’50 ways to raise £50’ advice pack from the Trust’s website or call 01823 652400.

Upcoming Events

1) The Love Somerset, Love Woodland campaign kicks off with events taking place at two Somerset Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves - Quants Nature Reserve, on the Blackdown Hills close to Churchstanton, on April 5 and at Harridge Woods Nature Reserve, on the Mendip Hills near Shepton Mallet, on April 12. The free, drop-in events will include egg hunting, following the Easter bunnies footprints, Wildwalks, nature trails, craft and bush craft activities.

2) The Love Somerset, Love Wildlife 50th Anniversary Roadshows- 50 years of Wildlife Conservation by Somerset Wildlife Trust. Come and hear Simon Nash, CEO of Somerset Wildlife Trust, and the team, talk about the county’s natural wonders and be inspired about the future of local nature conservation. See Events Page for detail

• February 26  - 7.30-9pm ­ Edgar Hall, Somerton. Organised by the Heart of the Levels Area Group, entrance £3. 
• February 27  - 7.30-9pm ­ St Catherine’s Church Hall, Frome. Organised by East Mendip Area Group, entrance £2.50.
• March 5        - 7.30-9.30pm ­ Shapwick Village Hall, Shapwick. Organised by the Polden Area Group, entrance £2.
• April 29         - 7.30-9pm ­ Wells Museum, Wells. Organised by the Wells Area Group, entrance £2.50 members, £3 non- members.


*Somerset is home to two globally threatened species ­ freshwater crayfish and eel (ref: SERC - all species recorded in Somerset in the last 10yrs which are listed as IUCN Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) & 88 of the UK’s threatened species (ref: SERC - all species recorded in Somerset in the last 10yrs which are listed within GB red Data lists as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.)

**1,700 hectares is equivalent to 1,700 football pitches

IMAGE:Thurlbear Wood by

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