The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust
Who are the Wildlife Trust?
The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust are a local committee who act as stewards of the wildlife on Scilly, including on land and in the sea. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust also manage 60% of the land that makes up Scilly, which with only 5 members is reliant on volunteer workers.
Scilly has very vigorous plantlife such as gorse, bramble and bracken that needs lots of management or the heathland would become overgrown and prevent access for walkers as well as restricting views and smothering sensitive wildlife habitats and damaging archaeology. It has been shown that well managed heathland habitats capture and reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
The Wildlife Trust at work
To clear pathways and manage vegetation hand tools such as scythes and slashers are used, as well as more heavy duty machinery like chainsaws and tractors with cutters and flails. Many of the wildlife sites are also maintained by grazing, and you may see the Red Ruby Devon cattle and the Dartmoor and Shetland cross ponies on various sites as you walk around the islands. The animals are docile and used to people and dogs but be aware that electric fences are used and also please read the Wildlife Trust's tips for walking with livestock.
- Do not feed or touch the animals
- Make sure that the animals know that you are there
- If an animal is startled do not run!
- Avoid getting between cows and their calves
- Keep small children close to you
- Do not leave bags or pushchairs unattended
- Keep dogs under close control
Please follow the countryside code:
- Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
- Consider other people
The underwater work the wildlife trust does includes employing divers to survey the reefs, seagrass meadows and tide-swept channels.
How to Get Involved
To get involved with the Wildlife Trust you can join them on a rockpool ramble during your visit to Scilly. The event involves scrambling over the rocks and seaweeds, seeing what lives underneath, dipping into rockpools and lifting up boulders. There is amazing life on our rocky shores which is often overlooked, including rainbow wrack, seaslugs, lobsters and fish. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust run rockpool rambles on beaches near Hugh Town and on off islands, every Spring Tide throughout the summer (every full and new moon). Their new rocky shore ID guide is given to all children to help them identify the creatures they find, and a member of our Marine Team will be on hand. Dates, times and locations will be advertised here on the website, in our information centre on the quay and in tourist information in Hugh Town.
- By taking part in Walk Scilly, an annual walking festival in springtime, you are raising funds for the Wildlife Trust.
- An information Centre for the Wildlife Trust is based on St.Mary’s Quay, in the waiting room building and is open for visitors to take leaflets and also use the wildlife reference library.