About Us

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Painted lady butterflyPainted lady butterfly. Image credit: Steven Williams.

Avon Wildlife Trust is the largest local charity working to protect wildlife in the West of England area (formerly the County of Avon - Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

With the support of over 17,000 members, 1500 volunteers and corporate support, we are the largest local charity working to protect wildlife and inspire people. We care for 36 nature reserves, from ancient bluebell woods to Iron Age forts, nationally important wetlands, and wildflower meadows. We run award-winning educational and community programmes. And we work with landowners in the wider countryside, to reduce the decline in wildlife by creating a Living Landscape.

The Wildlife Trusts 

Avon Wildlife Trust is part of The Wildlife Trust movement. There are 47 independent Wildlife Trusts across the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney. With 825,000 members, The Wildlife Trusts are the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the whole range of the UK's habitats and species on land and at sea.

Who we are

Each Wildlife Trust is an independent charity which is deeply-rooted within the local communities from which it was formed. Avon Wildlife Trust was established in 1980 as one of the first urban Trusts in the country.

What we do

We want to inspire people about the natural world so that they value it, understand their relationship with it and take action to protect and restore it.

  • We represent a membership of 17,000 people
  • We lead conservation work by taking an innovative approach to wildlife recovery on a landscape scale, to increase biodiversity in the wider environment
  • We manage 36 nature reserves covering 3,000 acres (over 1,100 hectares) - from nationally important salt marshes and wetland to wildflower grasslands, ancient woodlands and Iron Age forts
  • We set the agenda as part of the national partnership of Wildlife Trusts with 800,000 members throughout the UK, and regionally as a member of the South West Wildlife Trusts
  • We advise landowners, local authorities and many others on management and practice which can benefit wildlife
  • We inspire lifelong learning through enjoyment and access to the natural environment, in both urban and rural areas
  • We run award-winning education programmes 
  • We run a conference and education centre and wedding venue at Folly Farm in the heart of a 250-acre nature reserve
  • We co-ordinate a task force of more than 800 volunteers who help in all areas of the Trust's work, from conservation tasks on reserves to helping in the Trust office or at events
  • We campaign as the leading voice and source of expertise on all local wildlife matters
  • We work in partnership with public authorities, landowners, schools and colleges, businesses, local people and the media
  • We encourage people to lead more sustainable lives

Our team

Avon Wildlife Trust employs 40 staff and works with over 800 volunteers. Our Chief Executive is Ian Barrett. The ultimate governing body of the Trust (registered charity number 280422) is an elected Board of Trustees. Find out more.