Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Press Releases 


Toad - Dawn MonroseMonday 8th April - Following on from the Dragon Trail five years ago, this year it’s going to be the turn of the Taunton Toad Trail, which will help mark the Sixtieth Anniversary of the League of Friends Musgrove Park Hospital.

This summer will see 20 large model toads appearing around Taunton Deane in an initiative involving artists, school children and community groups. The specially commissioned toads will be located in high profile sites throughout Taunton to create an exciting trail for visitors to follow, learning about the history, talent and magic of our community. They will then come back together in an exhibition and be auctioned off in aid of the League of Friends, with all the money raised going towards improvements to the Bracken Birthing Centre, a birthing pool and improved maternity facilities at Musgrove.

blackrockMonday 18th March 2019  –  Fund unveiled to ensure Somerset’s critical habitats for wildlife are secure for the next generation in the shadow of future funding uncertainty

Somerset Wildlife Trust is excited to unveil the Somerset Nature Reserves Fund 2019. The Fund, which has been running annually since its launch in 2016, has raised an incredible £100,000 to date – all of which has been reinvested into maintaining the basic underlying health of all of the Trusts nature reserves across the county. The Fund has since inspired many who care about the county’s precious landscapes to make donations, which have made a vital difference to the Trust’s ability to keep these special places secure for the next generation and to safeguard some of our most precious wildlife and fragile habitats. 

Charabanc1Wednesday 13th March 2019  –  Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that, along with Somerset-based Wassail Theatre Company, generous funding has been received from Arts Council England and The Mackintosh Foundation to create an all new production of The Somerset Charabanc for 2019. (pronounced sha-ra-bang).

ChipperTuesday 5th March 2019  –  Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to share the news that it has received a grant of £16,584.45 from National Grid through their Community Grant Programme to support long term habitat management and scrub clearance at Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve. SWT’s project, ‘Power to Grow’ involves large scale removal of scrub and selective tree thinning which will improve ground light conditions across a variety of specialist habitats, encouraging biodiversity on a wider scale on this very special reserve.

kissing gateThursday 14th February 2019  – The Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit and Somerset Wildlife Trust have been working together to enhance Bubwith Acres Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest overlooking Cheddar in the heart of the Mendip Hills AONB.

Silverwash Fritillary underside c CGHTuesday 5th February 2019  – Somerset Wildlife Trust has received a grant of £22,000 from Aggregate Industries through their Local Partnerships Fund to improve habitats for Mendip butterflies. The project, ‘Making Space for Butterflies’, will involve woodland management work at Cheddar Wood and grassland and hedgerow restoration in East Mendip around Aggregate Industries’ Torr Works Quarry site.

Georgia Stokes Tuesday 29th January 2019  – Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Georgia Stokes, following Simon Nash’s decision to leave the Trust after 15 years of dedicated service. Georgia will join Somerset Wildlife Trust on the 8 April 2019 from the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, where she has been Chief Executive Officer for the past four years. She is currently also Chair of the Birmingham and Black Country Local Nature Partnership and Chair of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area partnership of 50 organisations.

Tuesday 20th NovemberUntitled design (46) 2018 – Somerset Wildlife Trust’s project ‘Homes for Herons’ has been selected to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge – the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign -  which helps charities raise funds for good causes during a week-long campaign. 

The Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign runs between midday on Tuesday 27th November and midday on 4th December online. All online donations given to Homes for Herons in this week will be matched by generous third party pledgers. If we reach the £10,750 target online, this will bring the total raised in one week to £21,500 -  an amount which will have a lasting impact on the future of heron species in Somerset.

Untitled design (43)Monday 19th November - On Tuesday 13th November, Somerset Wildlife Trust joined forces with community groups, companies, schools and local people to clean up the town for Taunton’s wildlife and wellbeing.

Groups from Viridor, Pennon Group, South West Water and Inland Waterways Association came together at COACH to paddle the River Tone in canoes and kayaks with instructors from Channel Adventure, cleaning as they went, and combed the riverbanks and footpaths for discarded litter – helped by Shane Austin – a seasoned litter-picker who frequently clears rubbish from the local rivers and canals in his kayak.

Untitled design (10)22nd Oct - This Autumn Somerset Wildlife Trust will be collecting seed from a variety of trees across its Mendip reserves as part of a national project to protect the UK’s trees by creating a huge tree seed bank. Somerset Wildlife Trust is part of the UK National Tree Seed Project, which has been set up by Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, and made possible with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.