Vincent Wildlife Trust has been at the forefront of wildlife conservation for more than 45 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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo ©Robert Cruickshanks