Wildlife in Trust: A Hundred Years of Nature Conservation
In May 1912, banker and naturalist, Charles Rothschild, laid the foundations for nature conservation as we know it today. His new organisation, the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves had one main objective – to save Britain’s finest wildlife sites.
Wildlife in Trust is a history of The Wildlife Trusts. It charts the changing fortunes of UK wildlife and the nature conservation movement founded to protect it.
Beginning with Rothschild’s first list of potential nature reserves in 1915, it covers: the landmark political Acts, the explosion of the local Trust movement in the 1960s and its subsequent development; the salvage and rescue operation to save woods, meadows, wetlands, bogs, and heaths; the dawn of marine conservation; the decline and recovery of species like the otter, plus the move to restore wildlife across whole landscapes.
This is a tale of local activism, visionary leaders, hard-fought campaigns, organisational growing pains and battles lost and won.
Wildlife in Trust is divided into three sections: a history of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts; individual histories of all 47 Wildlife Trusts in their own words plus a comprehensive reference section. The book features more than 300 photographs and maps – including many from The Wildlife Trusts’ archives.
This is a truly indispensable reference-work, both for detailed insight into the British voluntary wildlife-bodies, and as a source of illustrative material for studies of environmental perception and planning, and of voluntary and charitable causes. No assessment of whether Britain underwent ‘an environmental revolution’, or spawned ‘an environmental movement’, will now be complete without close reference to this volume.
- John Sheail, Environment & History Journal
This fascinating story is a distillation of the development of UK nature conservation … a tour de force. Pick it up, read it, enjoy it – but whatever you do, don’t drop it on your foot!
- BBC Wildlife Magazine