Did you know 64% of the Isles of Scilly are looked after by just one charity? We’ve caught up the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust to hear about the great work they do across the islands.
“The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust is the local, independent conservation charity with a small staff team, of seven, who are effectively custodians of these tiny Islands, Islets & rocks and we all feel privileged to call these special lumps of granite “home”.
Responsible for looking after just under 2000 hectares, leased from the Duchy of Cornwall on a 99 year fully insuring and repairing lease; including areas of the inhabited islands and all of the uninhabited islands, both marine and terrestrial habitats; most of which are accessible and open to enjoy year-round.
The Trust is governed by a board of seven Trustees and on a day to day basis the charitable work of the Trust is delivered by our dedicated island-based staff team.
Our team of three Rangers (Rob, Rhianna & Phil) are led by Head Ranger (Darren M) and are “out in the field” in all weather’s completing the conservation, management and maintenance work set out in the Trust’s Management Plan and Work Programme; Communications Officer (Nikki) & Education Ranger (Darren H) are responsible for organising and delivering our action packed educational events and activities programme, for kids of all sizes; CEO (Sarah) is primarily office based and does all the things expected of a CEO and much more, whilst ensuring that the charity is running smoothly and efficiently.
A recent addition to our small team is part-time Seabird Ecologist, Vickie Heaney, who monitors our regionally, nationally and internationally important breeding seabird colonies during the spring and summer months; we hope Vickie will return to help us with our work again next spring.
As well as the human element we have a small herd of Ruby Red Devon’s (Flake, Apple, Hettie, Moyana & April); their primary objective is to graze our headlands, coastal strips and wetland areas in line with our detailed conservation grazing programme.
The majority of the work we complete is financed through time-limited grant funding, consequently a large proportion of our work is targeted with specific outcomes; examples of this are the conservation work we carry out on the inhabited islands. Managing, restoring and maintaining habitats to encourage continued breeding of ground and burrow nesting birds or the management of invasive plant species such as Pittosporum, Gorse, Bracken and Bramble, to recreate and manage the habitats needed for our smaller, rarer plant species and animals to thrive, i.e. the Dwarf pansy, Orange birds-foot and the Least adder’s-tongue. Oh and keeping open over 30 miles of paths each year!
The smallest proportion of our funding comes from membership, donations and legacies and allows us to carry out what is often considered by our local community and visitors as vital; i.e. beach cleans and ongoing maintenance of facilities like the boardwalks, permissive paths and bird hides.
If we’ve piqued your interest already then why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get regular, daily instalments regarding our ongoing conservation work being carried out for the benefit of people and wildlife in our remote south-west corner of the UK.”
To find out more about the work the IOS Wildlife Trust does visit: ios-wildlifetrust.org.uk
To see the beautiful landscape so carefully maintained by the Trust, visit the Isles of Scilly travelling by Skybus from Newquay and Land’s End Airport year-round or Exeter Airport or Scillonian III from Penzance between March- November.
Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Facts & Figures:
- During 2018 we produced our “Eco-Pledge” showing that we understand our responsibility to reduce our own impact on our precious natural resources and that we need to help others, both residents and visitors to Scilly, to do the same;
- In 2018 a total of 50,967m (or 31.85 miles) of paths were cut and kept clear by the Trust across the Islands for the benefit of people;
- In 2018 we removed more than 3.5 tonnes of Marine Debris from Scilly’s coastline during organised beach cleans, events & activities;
- 3315 people attended our nature based educational events and activities during the 2018 visitor season.