Innovative mammal conservation

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About VWT

Who we are

Vincent Wildlife Trust has been at the forefront of wildlife conservation for nearly 50 years. Our work is focused on British and Irish mammals and is currently centred on the rarer bats and a small number of carnivores, notably members of the weasel family (the mustelids).

VWT was founded in 1975 by the late Hon Vincent Weir, a highly accomplished naturalist and a philanthropist. A tribute to Vincent Weir and a summary of our history can be read here.

Our Vision is that VWT is a catalyst for mammal conservation. Our Mission is to conserve threatened mammals by leading the way with scientifically sound conservation work.
Our commitment to evidence-based conservation is demonstrated through our role as an Evidence Champion with Conservation Evidence. We are furthering our vision to be a catalyst for conservation, and our mission to conserve threatened mammals, by adopting the Conservation Standards across all aspects of our work; providing a platform for us to increase our effectiveness and share our strategic planning, evidence-based decision making, impact assessment and adaptive conservation management practices with others.


Our current focus

VWT has high profile involvement with conservation-led research and survey work on the weasel family – the pine marten in particular. VWT undertook the first survey of the pine marten in Britain in 1983, providing evidence that subsequently helped to achieve legal protection for this threatened mammal.

Thirty years later, in 2014, the Trust launched its Pine Marten Recovery Project with the aim of restoring viable pine marten populations to England and Wales. Today, after the translocation of more than 50 pine martens to Wales from Scotland over a three-year period, and successful breeding ever since, we are seeing the return of a self-sustaining pine marten population in mid Wales.

Following a successful Development Phase, VWT was awarded funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new pine marten project, Martens on the Move, which is focusing on helping pine martens to continue to spread and thrive through community action.

Since the 1990s, a series of studies has looked at the recovery of the polecat in Britain. Our most recent report on the Distribution and Status of the Polecat was published in 2015 and we have just launched the fourth National Polecat Survey (2024-2025).

VWT also concentrates much of its resources on bat conservation, including the protection and enhancement of roosts for rare bats.

Since 1980, when its first bat reserve was acquired in Devon, VWT has been active in bat conservation in Britain and Ireland and also more recently in mainland Europe. A particular focus is on the protection and enhancement of roosts for rare bats, notably the horseshoe bats, and the Trust currently manages nearly 40 roost sites in Britain and Ireland. Read more about some of our reserves here.

The Trust carries out bat research, including studies on the feeding and roosting requirements of the rarer bat species such as the horseshoe bat. It also uses a variety of modelling techniques and molecular genetic approaches to help further our understanding of bat populations.

Survey and monitoring, research, education, training and advocacy together represent the work of VWT. Read the most recent Annual Report of our work and our Ten-Year Strategy, which underpins the current direction of VWT’s work.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Vincent Wildlife Trust values diversity and is committed to supporting an equitable and inclusive culture. We want our staff and volunteers to feel comfortable to be themselves and we aim to provide an environment where everyone, regardless of background or characteristics, can develop their full potential.

Photo: ©Robert Cruickshanks

3-4 Bronsil Courtyard, Eastnor, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1EP
01531 636441 |