Return to the Forum homepage


The Wildlife Trusts, United Kingdom

In May 1912, Charles held a meeting to discuss his radical idea about preserving natural wildlife habitats. This meeting led to the formation of the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR), which would become the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and signalled the beginning of a UK nature conservation movement that continues today. Under Charles' supervision, the SPNR conducted the first ever national survey of wildlife sites in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Questionnaires to landowners and local natural history societies seeking information about potential nature reserves were sent out from, (and returned to), the Rothschild bank at New Court in the City. The SPNR also despatched its members to carry out surveys on sites to establish their wildlife value.  The SPNR worked hard to secure Government protection for sites across the UK they considered ‘worthy of preservation’. The SPNR became the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and in the 1940s nature conservation made it onto the statute books with the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949. There are now 47 Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney.

For papers of the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, previously held by Charles Rothschild at NMR, see Partners' Room, papers of (Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild »

The Wildlife Trusts, Charles Rothschild and Miriam Rothschild Medal, publicity material, 2008

000/2371, 1 item

Leaflet entitled Two Pioneers, One Special Award advertising the Charles Rothschild and Miriam Rothschild Medal. Leaflet produced by The Wildlife Trusts, for those who deserve to be recognised for their outstanding work for the natural environment, 2008. 

The Wildlife Trusts, Centenary celebrations: printed material, 2012

000/2097, 1 file

Programme for The Wildlife Trusts' Centenary Event, 16 May 2012, held at the Natural History Museum, London. Includes a pack of postcards.