Current Projects

Dave Kilbey

We work on a lot of exciting projects across Gloucestershire, if you'd like to find out more or get involved please don't hesitate to contact us.

Going the Extra Mile Project

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is part of the Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project that aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. The GEM Project aims to engage with 1,100 people over the next three years until December 2019.

This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

Find out more.

Hedgehog Way

Ellie Harrison, our President, with a hedgehog

Hedgehogs are one of the UK’s fastest declining mammal species with urban areas supporting particularly important populations. Hedgehog Way will bring three urban communities together to improve hedgehog habitat connectivity, in response to local interest and information requests from Cheltenham and Gloucester communities on how to help hedgehogs. Our project will engage residents in neighbourhood-scale action to increase linkages for hedgehogs between gardens and green spaces, and test the effectiveness of widely-used hedgehog holes in increasing hedgehog movement. Residents will work with their neighbours to survey and track hedgehogs and create habitat improvements and hedgehog holes to create hedgehog ways.

Our project will result in:

  • Greater evidence base of effectiveness of hedgehog holes between green urban space and gardens with statistical analysis of the improvement of hedgehog dispersal due to creation of new hedgehog ways via hedgehog holes;
  • Increased habitat for hedgehogs with 30 new hedgehog ways created;
  • Greater understanding of number and spread of hedgehogs in area;
  • Improved and tested directions for personal use for hedgehog habitat improvements and links to resources they can go to;
  • Higher profile of hedgehogs in three target audiences with greater community action to support their survival;
  • A project report will be produced and disseminated widely to inform the long-term conservation of hedgehogs.

Our Hedgehog Way project is being funded by the People's Trust for Endangered Species, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Cheltenham Borough Council Community Pride.


Nature Tots: our Wild Play project

Toddlers having fun outdoors

We are encouraging children and their parents to become active outdoors, learning about the wildlife and wild places of our beautiful county and benefiting from playing together through our Nature Tots sessions.

Our sessions’ outdoor nature-based activities will include: finding, tracking & identifying wildlife, learning about the natural history of species & habitats, taking part in practical conservation & using tools safely, outdoor cooking (age dependent).

We are running 36 Nature Tots sessions in the Forest of Dean for up to 10 children per session and accompanied by at least one adult. We are running the sessions one morning a week during school term time alternative between the four locations across the Forest of Dean:

  • Forest School Area near Forest High School GL14 2SH
  • Angus Buchanan Play Fields GL16 8DS
  • Dean Field Study Centre GL15 4JA
  • Oakraven Field Centre GL17 0EE

Our Nature Tots sessions are being funded by the Summerfield Charitable Trust, Western Power Distribution and the Forest of Dean District Council.

Find out when the next Nature Tots session is near you in our Events section.

Brighter Futures

Brighter Futures courses

The Wildlife and Habitat Management course is a six-week outdoor skills programme available in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cirencester and the Forest of Dean. The programme is designed for long-term unemployed people and for those who feel marginalised due to learning difficulties, contact with the criminal justice system, social isolation or mental health issues.

Brighter Futures delivers significant improvements in wellbeing, transferable skills, motivation and employability while building lasting social networks between people who otherwise would not have met. Find out more on our Health and Wellbeing webpage to watch a short film to see the impact the programme can have on a recent course. 

Find out more and sign up for a course here.

Brighter Futures is being funded by the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Fund, Gloucester City Homes, Santander Foundation, the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Thames Water Community Fund, Gloucestershire High Sheriffs' Fund and the Statham Family Charitable Trust.

Wild for Nature

Our Wild for Nature project is a new nationally-innovative project which aims to help women with multiple and complex needs, whose disadvantage means that accessing nature is difficult. This new approach uses the restorative benefits of helping wildlife to support people create a better future for themselves and their families through creative contact with wild places. We will run a series of fully funded 6 day courses to connect people to their local countryside. The courses will improve their wellbeing and relationships and help them to access other support and courses, including volunteering opportunities with us and other local organisations.

Our Wild for Nature project is being funded by The Pilgrim Trust, the Langdale Trust, the W F Southall Trust and the Stock Exchange Veterans Charity Association. We are currently seeking further funding to enable us to deliver mixed group courses over the next two years.

Our Wild for Nature project is being funded by The Pilgrim Trust, the Langdale Trust, the W F Southall Trust and the Stock Exchange Veterans Charity Association.

We are currently seeking further funding to enable us to deliver mixed group courses over the next two years.

Pine Marten Feasibility Study

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, The Vincent Wildlife Trust, and the Forestry Commission, are collaborating on a pioneering project to explore the feasibility of reintroducing pine martens to the Forest of Dean.

The study will last for two years, and over this time GWT are keen to engage and consult widely with local communities living in and around the Forest of Dean. It is important that the public understand that no decision on the reintroduction has been made, or will be made before the study has ended. Discussion with local communities will be actively encouraged and all factors raised will influence the decision.







Find out more


Cradle of the Cotswolds - at Greystones Farm

Thanks to £676,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund we are now transforming Greystones Farm into a heritage education and discovery centre.

Grundon Waste Management, based in Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, donated £150,000 to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s ‘Cradle of the Cotswold’s’ project in Bourton-on-the-Water – the first major grant secured for an exciting new education and discovery centre.

Other large contributions were made by The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, who awarded £45,094 and The Summerfield Trust who awarded £2,000. We are also very grateful to a large number of individuals, business and trusts who made contribution that have helped to make this project possible. 

The Cradles of the Cotswolds project offers a huge range of exciting activities for people to learn about the heritage of the Cotswolds and get involved in restoring and maintaining it. It cater for all ages and abilities and is accessible for people with mobility issues.

The Greystones Farm discovery centre is due to open in April 2018

Heritage Lottery Fund logo 

Find out more

On the Wing

Kingfisher, Tony House www_seeing_org_uk

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's On the Wing project aims to restore habitat for winged species on three local reserves. The project aims to improve the resilience of priority flying species by undertaking conservation activities to improve and create suitable habitat to act as safe refuges throughout the Cotswold Water Park.

The project will improve the following habitats for priority winged species:

  • Standing Open Water to provide desirable habitat for charophytes and emergent vegetation; to maintain open flight-lines for overwintering waterfowl and nesting habitat for breeding waterbirds, including Red List species the Pochard; maintain a native suite of submergent vegetation; and enhance opportunities for marginal plants, so crucial for emerging dragonfly and damselfly larvae;

  • Reedbeds so that there will be habitat available for the reed bunting, reed warbler and consequently cuckoos; forage habitat and refuga for dragonfly nymphs and roosting habitat for adult dragonflies;
  • Ponds to increase nesting/roosting sites for birds and bats and provide suitable basking areas for butterflies and dragonflies including the Downy Emerald dragonfly;
  • Scrub to benefit song thrush, nightingale and grasshopper warbler;
  • Grassland to benefit the small heath butterfly;
  • Woodland by creating glades to benefit bats for foraging and butterflies for basking areas and increased nectar sources; and
  • Tern Rafts to benefit nesting terns and habitat for the red eyed damselfly as well as other bird species on older tern rafts.

The wonderful project to revitalise our nature reserves in the Cotswold Water Park is kindly being funded by Biffa Award, the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust, the Alan Evans Memorial Fund, the Linley Wrightman Shaw Foundation and the Roger Vere Foundation.

Batscape: Woodland and the Deadwood Stage

Nocture bat

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is making improvements to the way it managed woodlands in the Cotswold Valleys and Edge to help boost local bat populations. Thanks to funding from Biffa Award, our Batscapes Project is making habitat improvements on seven nature reserves with the aim of benefiting priority species of bats. 

The project is also providing additional benefits for a wide range of threatened deadwood invertebrates.

Most of the UK’s bat species use woodland in some way, whether it’s to roost in trees or feed on insects. The ideal woodland for bats includes dead, dying and damaged trees in which to roost, large semi-natural broad-leaved woods with a diverse understorey of shrubs for foraging, and wide open grass rides combined with ditches and streams to provide insect forage.

We are therefore working on creating a range of diverse woodland structures and habitat to provide roosting spots and easy foraging opportunities for bats. Activities are including thinning beech trees, coppicing and creating more open space in the woodlands to enhance insect numbers.

Many of the target woods for the project have a lack of natural bat roost features such as rot holes and crevices; to encourage the rapid formation of such roost sites, we are creating standing deadwood and boring into tree trunks to create larger splits and holes that will hasten rot formation in the trunk.

As part of the project, we are installing 30 bat boxes in which bats can roost and train volunteers to help on the Batscape Project.

Box Wood project

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is working to make improvements to Box Wood nature reserve thanks to funding from Biffa Award. 

The wood currently suffers from a lack of recent management, is dark, has little age structure to its canopy and is becoming overrun by invasive non-native plants, specifically cherry laurel and Himalayan balsam. These are reducing the floral diversity in the understory, impeding the growth of ground flora and impacting negatively on invertebrates, and by extension, bat populations.

As part of the project we are looking to remove these invasive species and coppice selected stands to thin the canopy, which will allow more light to reach the woodland floor and promote understory growth.

We are also improving an existing glade to benefit limestone grassland species and will cut back scrub and bordering trees to extend this glade.

The project will also involve creating new rides to link the improved glade to a neighbouring SSSI grassland site. This will improve connectivity for butterfly and moth species, as well as provide new access for the local community.

Cotswold River Project - Help save The water vole

Recent surveys undertaken by us have shown a dramatic reduction in water vole populations in Gloucestershire. From the surveys carried out in 1978/89 and then 1997/98, there has been a staggering 83% decline in Gloucestershire alone.

Sadly in some counties water voles have become extinct or seen a staggering 90% drop. If ever there was a time to save this endearing and much loved character from our wonderful Cotswold Rivers it is now. 

Lower Woods sustainable fuels

Together with Natural England we have agreed a new management plan for our Lower Woods Nature Reserve, to maintain its condition and provide thriving habitat for the wide arrange of flora and fauna that call the woodland home.

In order to achieve this management we urgently need to build our capacity to fell and extract wood to ensure that clearings are opened, enabling light to reach the woodland floor and encourage under-storey growth.

As part of this mangement we have recently established an economically and environmentally sustainable firewood business at Lower Woods Nature Reserve.

As well as servicing a local need for firewood and developing an outlet for the additional wood removed, this project will ultimately generate a small profit which will be re-invested into the woodland to ensure that we can continue to manage the habitat effectively for wildlife.  For full project details see below for project sheet.

Annual Primary Schools' Quiz

Every year we host the Primary Schools Quiz, a very successful and well loved event, which over the years has increased hundreds of children’s love of the natural world. 

From 6 initial schools, every year approximately 100 schools now take part, (a staggering 40% of all Primary schools in the County), showing that even under curriculum pressures teachers, parents and children still value eduating our children about wildlife as highly as other school extramural activities. For full project details see below for project sheet.

Events programme

We currently hold over 150 events throughout Gloucestershire for our 26,000 members and the general public. Our events are available for all to attend and 95% are free of charge.

Our events programme includes events for children - (mad march hare day, canoe safaris, badger watches), learning new skills - (hedgelaying, drystone walling, bushcraft) and wild events (mammal tracking, nature reserve tour, bird ringing) to name a few. 

Find out how you can sponsor events by calling the Fundraising Team on 01452 383333.

There's more...

  • Volunteering programme
  • Schools and Education programme including educational materials at Robinswood Hill
  • Publications and interpretation materials for nature reserves
  • Continuation of our Severn Vale Living Landscape programme
  • Phase 1 surveying and digitizing on GIS for the whole of Gloucestershire
  • Community Officers work in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Cotswolds
  • Wildlife Gardening promotional materials for Gloucestershire
  • Badger vaccination programme
  • Key Wildlife Sites programme

Contact us

If you would like any additional information about a proposed project to support or any other aspect of our work call 01452 383333