About Durham Wildlife Trust

As a small, local charity we rely on the support of our members. Membership enables us to manage our nature reserves, run conservation projects, deliver environmental education activities and provide thousands of volunteering opportunities each year.

Across County Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland no one is working harder to protect our wildlife for future generations.

35 Nature Reserves

Durham Wildlife Trust manages 35 nature reserves from the Tees to the Tyne, encompassing ancient woodland, lowland heath, mid-altitude heath, species-rich grassland, magnesian limestone, wetlands and more. Each reserve has its own conservation management plan which guides our work over a five year period.


12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest

12 of our nature reserves have been designated as SSSI’s. This designation gives legal protection to the site’s wildlife and geology. Durham Wildlife Trust works hard to maintain these designations to protect and conserve the biodiversity of these sites for future generations.

Over 8,000 members

Durham Wildlife Trust is a charity and relies heavily on the support of its members. Each £1 raised through membership generates £5.32 for vital conservation work. Please help us to continue our work for local wildlife, local communities and future generations by becoming a member today.


250 volunteers

Last year our volunteers gave us 36,000 hours of their time of their time. Our volunteers play an integral role in what we do, from the managment of reserves to helping with administration duties. We are always looking for willing volunteers who share our passion for wildlife, conservation and broadening awareness.

2 Visitor Centres

Relax and unwind in either of our visitor centres. Visit Rainton Meadows with its award-winning WildPlay area and 74 hectares of ponds, woodland, grassland and wetland habitat or take a trip to Low Barns, a wetland reserve recognised as one of our region’s most important wildlife sites. Both visitor centres have on-site cafés and are open 7 days a week.


800 hectares protected for wildlife

Our nature reserves cover a wide area and encompass wide range of habitats. With our partners, we work on a landscape scale to create Living Landscapes, areas in which wildlife can flourish and recover from past decline.

Activities for all ages

Durham Wildlife Trust offers a packed programme of events and activities throughout the year for all ages, from Wild Yoga to family fun days, Reserve Rambles and more. We engage with thousands of adults and children through our educational programme, our events and projects. We work with local communities connecting them with their local wildlife and helping to develop an appreciation of our natural world.


Regular training opportunities

As a member of Durham Wildlife Trust you can access our regular training programme free of charge. Our courses range from otter survey skills, to grassland plant identification, reptile survey techniques, tree drawing and more. Our workshops offer a chance to meet with fellow members and volunteers and are designed to help you build upon your own knowledge and appreciate of nature conservation.

Be part of something big

Durham Wildlife Trust is one of 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. Together, The Wildlife Trusts are the UK’s largest people-powered environmental organisation working for nature’s recovery on land and at sea. See the graphic below for details on how we are we are working for wildlife. Join today and help us conserve wildlife from Tees to Tyne.

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