Our Work

Me and Rhi by sluice

Enthusiastic staff and volunteers are essential to our conservation work

We manage some of the region’s most precious wild places, boasting magnificent coastline, islands, rugged mountains, ancient woodland, the heritage-rich ex-coalmining valleys and the richest agricultural land.

Our staff and volunteers have a deep understanding of the area’s wildlife, culture and heritage.

Facts & figures

WTSWW covers an area of 9,787 km² (Brecknock, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Glamorgan, and Pembrokeshire – total population 1,860,000), including around half of Wales’s coastline.

We own and manage 109 nature reserves covering 2,007 hectares, 50 of which are designated SSSIs, 10 are National Nature Reserves and 4 are islands. We have 61 staff, 800 volunteers and over 10,000 members.

Our annual turnover is just over £2,000,000.

We are a registered charity limited by guarantee, led by voluntary Trustees supported by executive staff.

Did you know?

Skomer and Skokholm Islands host the largest known population of breeding Manx Shearwater – half of the world’s total population.
From 2010-2015 we have undertaken more than 10,000 person-days of land management of which 8,000 were by volunteers.

What we do

Our mission is to rebuild biodiversity and engage people with their environment, by:

Publicly standing up for wildlife and the environment

Creating and enhancing wildlife havens within and outside nature reserves, particularly by creating Living Landscapes and Living Seas
Inspiring people about the natural world and helping them enjoy and protect it.

We’re making a difference

We recently bought the last piece of Skokholm Island to secure its future.

Carmel NNR in Carmarthenshire is one of our newest reserves. We helped save Carmel from quarrying in the 1990s.

As a foundation for our Living Seas vision, our Future Fisheries project is collating and analysing information to help plan a sustainable future for the fishing industry.

We are working to stop the loss of native species such as Red Squirrels, Water Voles and Marsh Fritillary butterflies.


Guillemot coming into land on Skomer Island

Guillemot coming into land on Skomer Island by Andy Davies

Nature reserves

Our sites cover a wide range of habitats and include 50 Sites of Special Scientific Interest of which 23 are of international importance and 10 are National Nature Reserves.  Nature reserves have always been a core part of our work. Some are large, some are small but each one is special.

Coed y Bwl – this small ancient Ash woodland has a circular path that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the remarkable Spring displays of wild daffodil.

Teifi Marshes covers a wide variety of habitats and species over 170 hectares. Excellent visitor facilities allow easy exploration.

Key species and habitats

Our area combines dramatic upland and coastal landscapes with gentler rolling hills, shaded woodlands, sunny meadows and lush wetlands and we are lucky to have many exciting species.

The habitats we manage include Wales’s second largest ancient woodland, heathland, fen, lakes, hay meadows, coast and islands.

Species include Manx Shearwater, Goshawk, Cetti’s Warbler, Lapwing, Puffin, Razorbill, Otter, Water Vole, Dormouse, Marsh Fritillary, Brown Hairstreak, Ley’s Whitebeam[“Rarest tree in UK”] Autumn Gentian, Mossy Saxifrage, Northern Marsh Orchid, Globeflower, Small-white Orchid, Wood Bitter Vetch, Carex montana, Whorled Caraway and many nationally important populations such as Lesser Butterfly Orchid, Goldilocks Aster, Pale Dog Violet and Silky Wave moth. We have half the world’s known sites for Willow Blister fungus, one of the world’s top 100 most endangered species.

Marsh Fritillary

Marsh Fritillary

People and Wildlife

We are passionate about wildlife and want to pass that passion on to others. We believe that to value and take action for nature, first people need to care about nature, and that lies at the heart of our work with people. We want to:

  • Help reverse the trend of younger generations becoming increasingly disconnected from wildlife.
  • Develop the natural history skills of those already interested in wildlife.
  • Encourage people to be inspired by wildlife.
  • Help families enjoy nature, encouraging a healthy attitude to risk and dirt!
  • Bring people the wider benefits of engaging with nature, including better health.
  • Demonstrate the importance of our natural environment to our quality of life.
  • Make our activities, Nature Reserves and visitor centres available and welcoming to everyone.

Wider countryside

WTSWW aims to influence wildlife conservation policy in order to protect wildlife outside the safe haven of nature reserves.

WTSWW campaigned against the badger cull in Wales. When the government changed their focus to vaccination, we worked with them to design a cost-effective action plan for rolling out vaccination. We are playing a leading role in implementing that action plan.

We work with partners and developers to assess the impacts of major projects and offer advice on appropriate mitigation. With other Trusts we campaigned against the Severn Barrage which would have had unacceptable impacts on wildlife.

WTSWW advises other landowners about managing land for wildlife – covering around 5,000 hectares each year.

Who benefits?

  • We protect wildlife.
  • We help people to enjoy and learn about their local wildlife.
  • We look after beautiful, special havens – for wildlife, for people, forever.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales Ltd

Registered charity number 1091562
The Nature Centre, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend CF32 0EH
Telephone: 01656 724100
Web: https://welshwildlife.org
Email: s.kessell@welshwildlife.org