Christmas opening times
We will be closed from 1pm on Tuesday 24th December until 9am on Thursday 2nd January.
Please explore our FAQ below to find the answers to your queries and we will respond to any outstanding enquiries when the office opens in the New Year. Thank you for your understanding!
Merry Christmas from everyone at Somerset Wildlife Trust.
Get in touch
Somerset Wildlife Trust, 34 Wellington Road, Taunton, TA1 5AW
generally 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
Phone: 01823 652 400
Phone: 01823 652 429
Phone: 01832 652 400
Press & communications enquiries:
Phone: 01823 652 414
Get through to the right person by using the drop downs below.
Reserves Manager for South Somerset & Blackdowns
Planning enquiries (Tuesdays only)
Contact Simon Briggs on 01823 652 439
Complaints or you wish to raise a concern
General Help and Advice
Please use the drop downs below to find out more.
General Wildlife Questions
Please try to find the information on the internet first of all if you can. We are always pleased to help but our resources are limited!
Please note our reception is often staffed by volunteers, we endeavour to answer your question as soon as possible.
Reporting a Sighting
We are sorry but we are unable to deal with sick or injured wild animals ourselves.
Please contact the following organisations who will be able to help:
RSPCA - The RSPCA is a national charity concerned with animal welfare. To report a mistreated, neglected, injured or distressed animal please call their 24 hour helpline. They have a cruelty checklist to help identify the information they may ask for when you call.
- 0300 1234 999
Secret World - Secret World is a Charity which operates a 24 hour wildlife rescue service in South West England. It is based at Highbridge, Somerset.
- 01278 783250
Reporting a wildlife crime
Wildlife guidance and advice
On our nature reserves
Ash dieback has already caused the widespread loss of ash trees in continental Europe and is now affecting countless woodlands, parks and gardens across the U.K, including our nature reserves.
Dog walking on reserves
Collection of any fungi from sites under management by Somerset Wildlife Trust is not permitted unless part of an authorised scientific or educational survey or event or as otherwise authorised by law.
It is also illegal to collect fungi from our sites for commercial purposes, and to intentionally damage or disturb a site that has SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) designation.
Our policy is founded on the following principal reasons:
- Legal – see above
- The critical ecological role of fungi and their relationship to a host of other species, some of which are dependent on fungi.
- The effect that collecting of fruiting bodies may have on the reproductive capability of fungi. Some of these species are likely to be rare or threatened.
- Visitors to our sites are entitled to enjoy the sight of fungal fruiting bodies in-situ.
- Groups of collectors can cause damage to sensitive habitats and other species through trampling in concentrated areas.
Hunting and field sports
The Hunting Act 2004 has made it illegal (except under certain exemptions, always requiring the landowner’s specific consent) for anyone intentionally to allow a dog to chase or hunt a wild mammal. This covers most wild mammals, including deer, foxes, otters and hares.
The main purpose of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s work is to conserve, enhance and restore wildlife habitats and populations of species across the UK. It is therefore our charitable objects that define our perspective on field sports and hunting. We do not allow field sports or hunting on our nature reserves. We do not allow the hunting of any animal with dogs on any land that we own. Neither do we allow anyone to lay a drag or scent trail across our nature reserves. Horses or dogs out of control on our reserves have a damaging impact on populations of wild animals and on fragile habitats which we are doing our best to conserve in the already very challenging circumstances of global biodiversity loss and climate change.
We encourage our members and visitors to our reserves that if they witness hunting with dogs on our land – or any other wildlife crime – that they please notify us and the police immediately and help us ensure our nature reserves remain the preserve of wildlife.
Please see above for information about Reporting a Wildlife Crime
Filming on land we manage
Our nature reserves have been used as locations by a wide range of media. The nature of requests vary widely and we are usually happy to accommodate them if possible as long as disturbance to wildlife can be kept to a minimum.
Further detailed information can be found below.
Walking near livestock
Please be aware of grazing horses and cattle, if dogs are allowed please ensure the following:
- To take care, and keep your distance from the animals
- Avoid yourself and/or your dog getting between animals and their young
- Please keep your dog on a short lead or at your side
- If ponies or cows approach, let your dog off the lead
- Please close gates behind you