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.
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.