Devon Wildlife Trust


Mission Statement

Our vision is for a Devon that is rich in all wildlife, where people enjoy and care about the natural world and take steps to safeguard it for the future.
We are a registered charity (or 'non-profit') and rely on membership, legacy gifts and donations from our supporters, and on the efforts of our 300 regular volunteers, to deliver our mission. That purpose can be summarised as the drive to:
  • create safe havens on land and at sea in which wildlife can thrive and from which it can spread;
  • stand up for wildlife under threat and bring back wildlife that's been lost;
  • inspire love and care for the natural environment, and enable more people to experience, enjoy and understand it; and
  • enrich and enhance our knowledge of wildlife, natural systems and the fundamental benefits it brings to society.


DWT is part of a wider network of 46 Wildlife Trusts, a federation of independent county and country-based charities, supported by the Royal Society for Wildlife Trusts.
Established in 1962, our organisation has grown and evolved into a well-respected conservation body, experienced at working in partnership, and one that adapts in response to new challenges or opportunities. Our current structure relates to the core priorities listed below, which all link to our diverse events programme, education activities with children and adults, and volunteering opportunities.
1. Caring for wildlife havens
We manage 57 nature reserves – vital havens for wildlife and places to be discovered and enjoyed by all – but our work extends well beyond their boundaries.
Through ‘landscape scale’ conservation projects such as Working Wetlands or the Devon Bat Project, we work with and across communities and landscapes in Devon, helping farmers and land owners to manage their land for the benefit of wildlife.
Urban projects, like Exeter Wild City, create urban wildflower meadows, ponds and wildlife-friendly gardens. Our Wildlife Champions network engages and inspires 10,000 children a year to love wildlife and take action for its benefit.
2. Bring back species
We work to recover species, such as the River Otter Beaver Project which has seen the successful historic reintroduction of a native species that had been hunted into extinction.
Extensive work in North Devon’s Culm grasslands has resulted in at least nine new populations of the threatened Marsh Fritillary butterfly, as well as the recreation of habitat vital to barn owls, otters and other iconic Devon species.
We fight for wildlife: campaigning for better protection of our marine life, for wildlife friendly farming and planning policies, and to save threatened landscapes. 
3. Being passionate about what we do 
We are passionate about our cause, but all of our work is based on reasoned arguments and sound evidence.
Our wildlife Records Centre is one of the best and largest in the country and we work with research partners to keep and develop a library of evidence to inform and support the work we do.
We practice what we preach. Our efforts to be a green organisation that values its staff and volunteers is evidenced by our accreditations for Environmental Management System, Investors in People, and Investing in Volunteers.

Program Details

1. Living landscapes
This is based on the Wildlife Trusts’ pioneering work into conserving wildlife at a landscape scale in the terrestrial environment, responding to the challenges of fragmentation and climate change.
At its heart is a conviction that wildlife rich areas need to be bigger, better, more numerous and better connected. It encapsulates our aspirations for high quality habitats and recovery of the species they support.
2. Living seas
Approximately half of our biodiversity resides in our surrounding seas. Yet action to protect marine wildlife is decades behind conservation on land.
With ocean environments in alarming decline worldwide and pressure on fisheries growing, it is imperative that we act now if we are to stop this trend before it is too late.
Our mission includes designating areas for marine wildlife, managing the activities the take place within them, and changing fishing practices so that marine wildlife can thrive in UK seas once again.
3. Living with nature
This embraces our work with people and wildlife. Our aim is to change hearts, minds and behaviour so that people take decisions in the best interests of wildlife and engage with nature to enrich their lives.
This might relate to the way people garden, the food they buy, the water they use or the way they spend their leisure time. We are not just looking for passive support; we want many more people to become actively involved with wildlife conservation.
Primary Issue
Secondary Issue
Climate Change
Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Road
Exeter, Devon EX2 4AB
United Kingdom
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