Scilly’s Wildlife Trust Get Funding For Another Decade Of Land Management

wildlife trust flagThe islands’ Wildlife Trust has been awarded funding to continue their land management work for a further ten years.

They’ve received around £1m under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme to deal with the 1,958 hectares they are custodians of across all of the islands.

Trustee Zoe Julian chaired the Annual General meeting at the Church Pavilion yesterday, as chairman Tim Allsop couldn’t attend.

Zoe says it was a privilege to look back what the Trust had done in the last year.

Their volunteers have spent 1,000 hours on tasks including clearing 50 miles of footpaths. And their work has ensured that the uninhabited islands remain rat-free.

Zoe says that moving into their new office space at Trenoweth has improved their operation as the associated storage area means equipment is being better cared for and should last longer.

In the last year the Trust has “drawn back a bit” from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, who had been contracted to manage operations and membership services.

Zoe said hiring Sarah Mason as manager had put the Trust in a better position.

Sarah says she’s made considerable savings and she’ll be looking at ongoing operation costs.

She wants to meet with Wildlife Trusts in the South West more regularly and she’ll spend time with our Trust’s Alderney counterpart. Sarah says the Channel Island is comparable to Scilly in its tourism profile, landscape and land use and there’s benefit in working together.

Mike Gurr stood up and repeated his previous call for some kind of levy on all visitors to be devised, as a means of funding the Trust.

But Sarah’s immediate challenge is generating support from residents and visitors.

Local member numbers have fallen to around 60. Sarah says people will join if they feel it’s an organisation worth support, and at the moment that doesn’t seem to be the case.

But she hopes that with all the improvements being made, people will feel they want to get behind the Trust.

Sarah also has lots of idea to sign up more visitors to the islands. And it’s hoped that the Wildlife Trust walks on Tresco will encourage well-heeled visitors to dig deep in their pockets.

The future of the magazine received by members is unclear. The responses to a members’ survey will influence what happens.

2 Responses to Scilly’s Wildlife Trust Get Funding For Another Decade Of Land Management