The Alderney Wildlife Trust is one of the 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the British Isles. Support from our members and volunteers allows us to manage over 130 hectares of terrestrial land for wildlife - quite considerable on an island of only 800 hectares. We also manage over 20km of footpath to ensure public access to the Island's countryside whilst minimising the impact on the wildlife that lives there. We work with the local community to engage them with their natural environment in order to protect Alderney's wildlife for the future.
Alderney is a very special place and by helping the work of the Alderney Wildlife Trust you can make a difference. After all, if you love where you live, you'll want to look after it.
The coloured patches are all the areas the AWT manages, including the Longis and Vau du Saou reserves, Alderney Community Woodland and the island's Ramsar site
Alderney is the most northerly of all the Channel Islands and the third largest, home to just under 2,000 people. The island lies at the southern-most edge of the English Channel, around 100km south of Portland, its nearest British port, and the same distance from St. Malo in France, due south. Yet Alderney lies just 13km from the northern tip of the Cotentin peninsula. This places the island within the influence of both continental European and British landmasses and directly along the flyway of many migratory species.
With around 800 hectares of terrestrial and 16,000 hectares of marine environment, Alderney contains a bit of everything: from woodland to wetland; scrubland, grassland and heathland; sandy beaches and dunes to rocky shores. This astonishing range of habitats is linked to a temperate climate and a marine environment with extreme tidal conditions, giving Alderney an abundant and diverse wildlife out of all proportion to the island's small size. Alderney's climate is temperate, moderated by the sea, and summers are usually warmer than the majority of the British Isles.
The AWT was founded in response to growing concerns about the island's environment, and became a full member of the Wildlife Trusts (TWT) on May 13th 2002.
Alderney, at the time of the Trust's creation, lacked any civil service infrastructure responsible for maintenance and management of the natural environment. Even today the island has just one wildlife protection act, an adapted 1949 Wild Bird Protection Ordinance (amended), with no wildlife welfare or habitat protection.
The decision to form the AWT was made by a group of Alderney residents, in conjunction with the States of Alderney and the Alderney Society (the island’s heritage organisation). The AWT was therefore conceived by both the community and its government to fulfil many roles. The Trust provides a range of services normally within the purview of government; including responding to environmental aspects of planning issues in the absence of an Environment Department and developing environmental educational locally.
Within just a few years of its founding the AWT had not only grown within its community but had developed the largest by per capita membership of any Wildlife Trust.