Guidance on acceptable activities & the permissions & charges that will apply
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is a nature charity. We work hard to make our reserves exceptional places for wildlife, and we want people to enjoy and cherish them. To this end, our nature reserves are made available free of charge for private enjoyment, thanks primarily to the support given by our members.
To enable and enhance enjoyment of the reserve, we invest in visitor facilities appropriate to the site, including paths, signage, leaflets, hides, viewpoints, car parks and centres. Our staff and volunteers also organise a wide-ranging programme of events and activities for all ages.
Where individuals and companies benefit financially or reputationally from running activities on our reserves, and the investment the Trust makes in maintaining them, then they should make a reasonable contribution to support the Charity.
All such activities need to be agreed with the Sites Manager, in advance, and before any publicity or bookings are undertaken. Only commercial activities which are compatible with the Trust’s values will be permitted. Our guiding principle is that ‘We always act in the best interests of wildlife’.
GUIDED WALKS & TOURS
Where individuals or companies benefit financially from the charity’s conservation efforts and facilities, by using reserves as venues for walks and tours we expect a minimum donation of £30 per tour, depending on the nature of the activity. There will be an additional fee if staff or volunteer time is needed to facilitate the activity.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust organises an extensive programme of learning activities across the county and permission will only be granted for activities which extend our learning portfolio and are delivered to the high standards we set for ourselves.
Where non-commercial activities such as nature walks are planned for Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves, the organiser should confirm the plans in advance with the Sites Manager. This is a matter of courtesy and to avoid duplication with another event or an unintended impact on the site. Of course, we would be delighted if the group chooses to make a donation to the Trust in appreciation of their visit.
Foraging and foraging activities, including those which are part of a larger event, are only permitted if a member of the Trust team is present. This is to safeguard the natural history and the enjoyment of other visitors.
FOREST SCHOOL & OTHER LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Wild Learning team offers a comprehensive programme of nature activities for all ages, including Forest School, at reserves across Suffolk, and we have invested in high quality facilities to support this. Generally we do not allow other organisations or individuals to run these activities on our sites.
Of course, we are delighted that youth groups and schools include wildlife activities in their programme and welcome their informal use of Trust reserves to get closer to nature.
CHALLENGE EVENTS & SPORTING ACTIVITIES
Where these events will attract larger numbers than usual onto a public footpath or bridleway across a nature reserve, the organiser should discuss the plans in advance with the Sites Manager. This will enable potential hazards to be identified, for example where a site is grazed, and any cost implications for the Trust which need to be addressed by the organiser, including staff time or remedial work.
COMMERCIAL DOG WALKING SERVICES
We welcome well-behaved dogs on leads to enjoy most of our reserves with their owners. There are some exceptions to this and these are detailed on our website.
We work hard to provide trails around our reserves that minimise the disturbance to wildlife. With this in mind, it is not appropriate for commercial dog walkers to use Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserves for their activities.
FILMING & PHOTOSHOOTS
Our nature reserves are beautiful places and are wonderful locations for individuals to pursue their interest in natural history photography. We are always delighted to celebrate the wildlife of our reserves through the fabulous array of nature and landscape photography shared on social media.
If you wish to use a reserve as a location for a commercial photo shoot (including wedding photography) or commercial filming this needs to be arranged through Screen Suffolk. The fee negotiated will reflect the input of staff time needed to co-ordinate the activity and the potential impact on the site and other visitors. Please book via screensuffolk.com.
PRESS & PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITY
Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Campaigns Manager should be consulted in advance of any press or promotional activity, including broadcast media, being planned for a Trust reserve.
If you would like further clarification on our guidance, or the appropriateness of an activity, please contact the area Sites Manager:
Will Cranstoun - 01284 728541
Alan Miller - 01502 478788
SOUTH EAST SUFFOLK
Andrew Excell - 01394 411019
Matt Gooch - 01502 564250
SWT Brooke House – 01473 890089
Thank you for your support for Suffolk Wildlife Trust.