Our conservation story

The conservation pioneers

By the 1960s, in response to the widespread devastation of our natural habitats, Wildlife Trusts had been formed across the length and breadth of the UK.

Ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows, lakes, mosses, moors, islands, estuaries and beaches were all rescued in an urgent drive to save our natural heritage for future generations. Our founders successfully pressed for laws to protect some of the most special habitats.

Cardigan Island

Cardigan Island

The Wildlife Trust in west Wales was formed in 1938 as The Pembrokeshire Bird Society, concerned with research and conservation on the Pembrokeshire islands, and then acquiring the lease of Cardigan Island in 1944.

The inaugural meeting of Glamorgan County Naturalists’ Trust took place in 1961, and its first nature reserve, Broad Pool, was acquired in 1962.

Now a single Wildlife Trust, WTSWW manages over 4000 acres of some of the area’s most precious wild places in the form of over 80 nature reserves.

Other organisations joined us in this quest and bought land for nature. In this way the pioneers of the conservation movement identified and secured for the nation small oases of wildlife-rich land in an otherwise inhospitable environment.

But these were emergency measures: refuges from which it was always hoped that nature would re-emerge when the time was right. This is the challenge we now need to grasp.