Banner Image: Puffins off Burhou; Copyright: Alderney Wildlife Trust 

The Alderney Wildlife Trust evolved from the island's conservation volunteer organisation, in 2002, to help manage and protect  Alderney's diverse habitats from the threat of inappropriate new development and large-scale agricultural abandonment.

Since then, the Trust has expanded rapidly, with a growing number of dedicated members and volunteers, both on and off island.

The Trust's role within Alderney has also grown, with activities now ranging from environmental consultancy and implementing sustainable projects, to running surveys and species-counts as well as creating new wildlife havens.

Seal in the waters around Alderney - Copyright: Alderney Wildlife Trust

As a Crown Dependency, Alderney lies outside both the UK and European Union legislative framework for the protection of the natural environment, and its government lacks the resources to employ staff with training in nature conservation. Because of this, the Trust fulfils a unique role maintaining an active partnership with the local government and other Channel Islands, UK and European conservation councils and research groups, to protect and conserve Alderney's wildlife.

Alderney's marine habitat is particularly biodiverse. 70 species of seaweed occur here.
Left: inshore marine habitat - Copyright: UKOTCF; Right: Star ascidians - Copyright: Alderney Wildlife Trust

Its work focuses on the challenge of aiding the island's wildlife, whether it is recording the latest puffin sighting to building new footpaths along one of the island's reserves. The Trust also helps other projects, including scientific ecological studies, governmental planning and biological conservation schemes.

Alderney has an internationally important population of Northern gannets. They are found at Les Etacs and Ortac between February and October - Copyright: Alderney Wildlife Trust

In 2017, AWT worked alongside us to organise the second Environment Ministers meeting. Their dedicated team did everything from clearing out a German bunker in the Nunnery to host a reception to organising a trip with the Environment Ministers of the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to the island’s Ramsar site Les Etacs to view the gannet colony and the puffin breeding site at Burhou.

AWT volunteers clear site at the back of the Nunnery for the Environment Ministers meeting closing meal;
Left: AWT Manager Roland Gauvain shows UKOTCF around the site;
Right: A few days later the site has been cleared by AWT volunteers ready to host the BBQ;
Copyright: UKOTCF
AWT Officer, Claire Thorpe, shows Environment Ministers the puffin colony on Burhou - Copyright: UKOTCF

BBC Radio 4 featured the excursion on its Today programme, the flagship morning news broadcast.