Our story

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is the only voluntary organisation devoted solely to the conservation of the wildlife and wildplaces of Cumbria. The Trust stands up for wildlife, creates wildlife havens, and seeks to raise environmental awareness.

Formed in 1962 and supported by thousands of members and supporters, the Trust cares for 40 nature reserves, campaigns for the protection of endangered habitats and species such as limestone pavements and red squirrels, and works with adults and children to discover the importance of the natural world.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is part of a partnership of 46 local Wildlife Trusts across the UK. With more than 800,000 members and 2,300 nature reserves, The Wildlife Trusts is the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK’s habitats and species. 

Who we are 

Our aims

Standing up for wildlife
To support and encourage action to create an environment in Cumbria richer in wildlife, prevent further losses of species, wildlife habitats and geological features and encourage their sustainable management.
Creating and enhancing wildlife havens
To acquire and manage a network of high quality nature reserves which are accessible and which contribute to the conservation of Cumbria's most important habitats.
Inspiring people about the natural world
To create activities and experiences aimed at helping people of all ages to understand and appreciate the natural worlds and encourage people to take action to conserve and improve it.
Recognition and respect for our role and work
To ensure recognition as the organisation which conserves wildlife in Cumbria.
To ensure an increase in the awareness of conservation issues.
To create a large active, involved and well-informed membership of the Trust.
Growing our resources for action and advocacy.
To raise sufficient funds to implement the Trust's aims, objectives and targets.
Organisation and structure
To be efficient and well organised.
To be cost effective and financially stable while using the Trust's funds for the proper purposes and in accordance with the Charity Commissioner's rules.

What we do

How we are run

Cumbria Wildlife Trust has a Board of Trustees that consists of 12 members elected by the Trust’s membership.

All trustees are unpaid volunteers. The Board meets around ten times a year and is responsible for the overall governance and direction of the Trust. Three main committees report to the Board. These are Conservation Committee, Development Committee and Audit and Risk Committee. We welcome expressions of interest from members interested in serving on a committee.

Responsibility for all operational management of the Trust is delegated by the Board to the Director and staff.

Our governance

Our history

The beginning
It all began in 1912 when Charles Rothschild, who pioneered the whole concept of nature reserves in this country, set up the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves - which evolved into today's Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts - the parent organisation of our 47 Wildlife Trusts. He identified Meathop Moss, 120 acres of raised bog near Grange over Sands, as 'one of the most interesting places in England' and it became the newly-formed society's fourth nature reserve.

Read more on our history