Our story...

1953 - two local botanists, R.H. Roberts a local headmaster and W.S. (Bill) Lacey, Lecturer in the Botany Department, University College of North Wales, carried out vegetation surveys in North Wales. Their maps showed the importance of the fens in NW Wales, and they recommended that Cors Goch and Cors Geirch be acquired as nature reserves.

1962 - 105 acres of Cors Goch came on the market, and the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves stepped in to make a holding purchase until a local conservation body could be established to buy and manage nature reserves.

1963 - 65 people met and decided to set up ‘The North Wales Naturalists’ Trust’. A Council of 10 was elected at a public meeting on October 26th with Colonel J.C.Wynne Finch as Chairman and Dr. W.S. Lacey as Hon. Secretary.

1964 - Trust logo designed by C.F. Tunnicliffe was a fine drawing of a feral goat

1965 - the Trust had 359 members and 3 nature reserves, (42.5ha Cors Goch, Anglesey 11.7ha Morfa Bychan dunes nr Porthmadog and 4.05ha Coed Cilygroeslwyd wood on limestone in Denbighshire).

1970 - First paid staff member, an administrative officer working in Bangor. European Conservation Year, the Trust received a Prince of Wales award for a nature trail at South Stack.

1972 - The Dolgellau Branch of the West Wales Trust became part of the Trust, forming the nucleus of our current Meirionnydd Branch.

1974 - Mrs Joan Morgan became Honorary Secretary and Bill Lacey was elected Chairman, and Watch Groups, with exciting activities for children started.

1977 - First member of conservation staff. Doug Oliver’s first job was to organise the building of a new weir at Cemlyn on Anglesey to safeguard nests of Sandwich, Common, and Arctic Terns and Black-headed gulls. A high spring tide in July 1977 breached the weir destroying most of the eggs and chicks, so construction over-winter was completed just in the nick of time before the birds arrived the following season. This is now the most important Sandwich tern colony in Wales.

1982 - The Montgomeryshire Branch with the Trust’s good wishes became the Montgomeryshire Trust for Nature Conservation. 5 nature reserves were transferred to the new Trust.

1983 - A team of 7 scientists funded by the Manpower Services Commission surveyed over 350 Anglesey sites of which 100 were designated Wildlife Sites.

1988 - our first staff member in north-east Wales, Joan Daniels was appointed, and we changed our name to ‘North Wales Wildlife Trust’(NWWT). We bought our largest Reserve Gors Maen Llwyd (480ha) an area of heather moorland and blanket bog north of Llyn Brenig, Denbighshire, which is now one of the best sites in Wales for Red Grouse. In the following 4 years ‘cycle for wildlife’ events raised over £12K in sponsorship money.

1989 - Our Trading Company was set up, and is still entirely run by volunteers. It has experimented with 12 retail outlets, and is successfully running shops on the Great Orme in Llandudno and at Breakwater Park, Holyhead. Over £250,000 has been covenanted by the company to the Trust.

1990 - North Wales Environmental Services was set up by volunteers to provide high quality ecological services at competitive prices. Paid project managers have since been appointed, and the company now operated as Enfys Ecology Ltd covenanting all its profits to the Trust.

1991 -  our President, Professor W.S. ‘Bill’ Lacey was awarded the Cadbury Medal by RSNC for services to nature conservation.

1993 - The Trust’s first Director, Morgan Parry started to boost our image with regular appearances on Welsh TV and radio. Links with the other Welsh Trusts were strengthened by the launch of Welsh Wildlife Trusts Partnership, with Dr. W.Eifion Jones NWWT Chairman, chairing the Board of Trustees.

1994 - The Trust adopted a fully bi-lingual policy

1995 - we adopted the badger logo of the Wildlife Trusts and Cors Goch was declared a National Nature Reserve, and a RAMSAR site of international importance. It is also a Special Area of Conservation under the EU habitats directive. Since then, the 53ha has been enlarged to 76ha and is developing as a part of a key Living Landscape project.

1996 – Annual “Lacey” lectures began in memory of Prof Bill Lacey thanks to a donation from his family.

1998 - A successful application to the Heritage Lottery in 1998 resulted in a grant of £323,596 for a 5 year programme to manage and interpret 19 Trust Reserves, enabling us to appoint our first Reserves Officer

1999 - hundreds of children took part in ‘Trees of Time and Place’ and ‘Frog Watch’.

We were left a legacy by RH Davies which we used to match-fund the Heritage Lottery-funded Wetlands for Wales project, enabling important conservation work at Cors Goch.

2000 - Gwaith Powdwr, the old Cooke’s Explosives Works near Penrhyndeudrath opened to the public as a nature reserve with breeding nightjar and several species of bat.

2004 - the Trust started the developments of the Local record Centre for North Wales which is now successfully running independently as Cofnod.

2006 - Wildlife Trusts Wales’ Conservation Plan was launched, and the Snowdonia Wildlife Gardening Project, and Marine Awareness North Wales became valuable parts of the Trust, and membership topped 5,000.

2007 - We were left a legacy by Merfyn Edwards of £100,000 for the conservation wildlife on Anglesey, including the acquisition of Rhuddlan Fawr at Cors Goch.

2011 - We were left £82500 by Bill and Margaret Walton active volunteers with the Trust.

2012 - Pippa Bonner received an MBE for her leadership of NWWT Trading Ltd, and land at Eithinog, Bangor was transferred to the Trust after over 20 years of campaigning to save it from housing development.

2013 – The Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary with a fabulous series of events across the year and a wonderful garden party at our Patron Lord Langford’s home, Bodrhyddlan Hall, in August.