50 years wild
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, your local wildlife charity, has been looking after Staffordshire's wildlife and wild places for nearly 50 years. In 2019 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary by running lots of exciting wildlife events for all ages to get involved with, such as a colour run, youth debate, celebrity speakers' night, filming of a 50th documentary, opening of our new-look Wolseley Centre, the launch of a new charity shop plus much more! We celebrated the milestone of our birthday with a big birthday Wildchild Festival bash on 7th August 2019 where 2,000 attendees joined us.
Read below on our history and also summary of our 50th anniversary event programme
On the 5th August 1969, the Staffordshire Nature Conservation Trust was set-up as a new Company (No 959609) and a Registered Charity (No 259559), later to become Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. This small band of people that launched the Trust, were directed by naturalist, author and broadcaster Phil Drabble (of 'One Man And His Dog' fame), who lived in Abbots Bromley and was often referred to as 'a militant' naturalist. Before this, the group had been a part of the West Midlands Trust for Nature Conservation founded in 1956, which included the counties of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
In 1970, the Trust bought its first nature reserve, Loynton Moss and now owns 27 sites, ranging from ancient woodland to wildflower meadows, with further locations to be added during our anniversary year! A management committee was set up alongside the ownership of the reserve, with one of the trustees, bird expert Frank Gribble acting as leader of the group, who was awarded an MBE in 1996 for services to nature conservation. Today, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is a powerful voice for wildlife and people. The Trust is now one of the largest landholders in the county with a membership in excess of 15,000 people of all ages, as well as a strong Conservation Team force and a diverse People Engagement Programme.
The Trust spent the first 2 decades of its life consolidating its position and now works with and gives information and advice to government organisations, local authorities, planners, developers, and communities of all kinds even recently appearing in parliament!
The Trust's 1st Registered Office was on the southern edge of Stoke-on-Trent, at the home of Treasurer Richard Warren, the County Recorder for butterflies and moths. Following numerous office relocations, the Trust HQ is now sited at The Wolseley Centre, which has been the Trust's home since 2001, incorporating a bustling Visitor Centre. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust run another Visitor Centre at Westport Lake and in true pioneering spirit, were the first Wildlife Trust to launch a charity shop - and now have three in total!
A year of celebrations
To celebrate turning 50, we ran a special wild event programme throughout our anniversary year. You can see a summary our 50th events programme below! Some of the events were so popular such as our Wildchild Festival, youth summit and Big Weekend Wildlife Watch survey that we plan to make them annual events going forward.
New for 2019! People were invited to run for wildlife and go '50 Shades of Green' for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's Colour Run event on Sunday 23rd June @ Chasewater Country Park. The fun started @ 10AM.
Those who signed up got a FREE t-shirt (S, M, L or XL only - thanks to Croft Architecture for the sponsoring these) and sunglasses.
Attendees ran, walked or joged 5k for wildlife and stuck around at the end for our Colour Run Party where everyone got their own sachet of paint to throw! Live music featured from the fantastic 'Non-Runners' and fitness instructor Jackie Cassidy did a great job of getting everyone race ready with her warm-up routine.
This was a fun event that aimed to raise money for your local wildlife and wild places in a stunning location! We hope to run a similar event next year
We are excited to announce that we hosted our Youth Debate event, 'YESS 19' (Youth Environment Summit Staffordshire), with an environmental takeover at Civic Buildings in Stafford in the Council Chambers. Schools and individuals across the county participated on the 11th April to discuss numerous environmental issues along with local businesses that will effect the future of Staffordshire and beyond such as: plastics, re-wilding, green spaces vs people plus more. The event was live-streamed on our website for other schools and members of the public to tune in and watch. Workshops were run with schools in the afternoon to discuss the debate topics further. Feedback from the attendees will help shape the Trusts business strategy for the next few years.
We had a wonderful day celebrating our 50th anniversary at our big, WildChild Festival birthday bash on 7th August 2019 at our Wolseley Centre HQ. Around 2,000 of you joined us in what I am sure we'll all agree was a birthday party to remember!
There was lots of family wildlife activities on the day for people to get stuck into and experience their wild side; fun wildlife games, entertainment from the Fabulariam theatre group, tales from the traveling storyteller, the Oakmobile, yoga sessions, natural craft, obstacle courses, mud slide plus lots more!
You can view a selection of images from the day here https://www.wildchildfestival.com/
'Wildlife Road Trip' Speakers Night
On the evening of Friday 20th September on #GlobalClimateStrikeDay, we held a wildlife talk, 'Wildlife Road Trip' and invited the public to come and listen. Wildlife TV presenters Iolo Williams and Martin Hughes-Games, known for their conservation and wildlife work presented the show - you may recognise them from shows such as BBC Springwatch! The wildlife TV presenters teamed up for an amusing and informative show packed with facts and fun for the whole family. Extremely wild about wildlife, these two brilliant and entertaining enthusiasts took the audience on a funny and fascinating journey. The audience were able to learn about wildlife, the presenters work history and also get a sneak peak insight as to what wildlife TV presenting is like on shows such as Springwatch and learnt some of the interesting things it entails. The 'Wildlife Road Trip' themed event was held at the Lichfield Garrick. The Trust also had a Wilder Future stand at the event where people could find out how to get involved with the Trust's latest campaign that promotes saving wildlife and wild places that are under threat. Find out more about the campaign here
In celebration of their 50th anniversary, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust held an Art Exhibition 'Wild About Staffordshire' @ Museum of Cannock Chase. The exhibition celebrated the wildlife and wild places of Staffordshire with a range of artwork on display from photography to sculpture and paintings. The exhibition ran from Mon 28th October - 17th December. Emma Sheldon won the People’s Choice for her ‘Inquisitive Kit’ piece and Gillian Elliot won the Chairman’s Choice for the piece ‘The Clearing’.
New-look Wolseley Visitor Centre
The Wolseley Centre, the Trust’s home since 2003, has undergone a redevelopment, which has seen the creation of a new café with stunning views over Swan Lake to enrich the visitor experience, a revised gift shop, a new car park offering more spaces, improved interpretation and introducing new features across the well-visited site. The new-look centre was officially opened on 12th June by Staffordshire Dignitaries (find out more here). Another key part of the exciting upgrade of the facilities includes the construction of a purpose-built environmental education facility. The new building will feature a cutting-edge environmental design that delivers the perfect space for learning about nature in harmony with the natural landscape in which it will be located. This is set to be completed later on in the Trusts anniversary year.
Big Weekend Wildlife Watch
30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trust's UK month-long nature campaign where people are encouraged to do one random 'act of wildness' for each day in June. This could be as simple as going for a walk or doing some bird watching! Mid June in 2019, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust held their Big Wild Weekend as part of the campaign, where everyone is encouraged to do something wild and get outdoors. On the Big Wild Weekend, 15th-16th June, the Trust launched their Big Weekend Wildlife Watch survey working with Staffordshire Ecological Record. 300 people across the county signed up to take part and were asked to head outdoors to their local green space (park, garden or nature reserve) and spot 30 key species and to then send their results in to the Trust. By recording species people were helping the Trust analyse the state of Staffordshire's wildlife. As part of the campaign, there was a FREE spotting booklet with facts about wildlife.
Get Wild Badge
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 50th Year in 2019 and we would love individuals, families, schools and groups to all get involved in celebrating with us by doing 50 wild activities. The Get Wild badge is a great way to earn an award while exploring nature and taking part in lots of fun activities. Go on a bug hunt, climb a tree, make a bird feeder, discover animal tracks and trails, make leaf bunting or plant wildflowers!
There are 100 wild activities from the list to choose from and you need to complete 50 of them to earn your Get Wild. Most of the activities can be done almost anywhere outdoors and many of them you can also complete when attending our family events and activities we run throughout the year! Look out for the Get Wild badge logo next to events on our what's on pages to see which activities qualify!