The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts
RSWT operates as an umbrella body for the 47 individual Wildlife Trusts, covering the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Wildlife Trusts manage around 2,300 nature reserves including in the Cotswolds and run marine conservation projects around the coast. RSWT helps to co-ordinate the Trusts' activities and campaigning for wildlife at a UK level.
Each of the 47 Wildlife Trusts is an independent, autonomous charity with its own trustees, whose primary concern is the conservation of nature within its own geographical area.
Local Trusts are split into regions; a single Trust covers Scotland; Wales has six Trusts which work increasingly closely together; there are Trusts for Ulster, the Isle of Man, Alderney and the Isles of Scilly and 36 Trusts across England largely based on the old county boundaries or small groupings of such counties.
In May 1912, a month after the Titanic sank, Charles Rothschild held a meeting to discuss his radical idea about saving places for nature. This meeting led to the formation of the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, which would become the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and signalled the beginning of UK nature conservation as we know it.
The Society worked hard to secure Government protection for sites across the UK they considered ‘worthy of preservation’, but it was not until the 1940s that nature conservation made it onto the statute with the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act in 1949.
The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (covering many of the Cotswold Nature Reserves) was founded in 1961 by a group of volunteers, led by Sir Peter Scott, who recognised that local wildlife was under threat.
Since that first meeting, 50 years ago, the Trust has grown and now has over 500 active volunteers and 26,500 members! Here are just some of the key events over the past 50 years.
Greystones Farm Nature Reserve at Bourton-on-the-Water
The Glouctestershire Wildlife Trust took over Greystone’s Farm in 2002. They aim
to restore grassland fields across part of the farm to species-rich neutral meadows by using seed collected from the Salmonsbury Meadow Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is contained within the boundaries of the farm and which they also manage.
Located at Bourton-on-the-Water - for more information about - Greystones Farm Nature Reserve.