How we are run

How we are run

Wildflower © Gemma de Gouveia

Get to know us a bit better

With over 70 members of staff, more than 300 active volunteers and 28,000 supporters, we have a big team at Dorset Wildlife Trust. Here you can find out more about us, our President Dr George McGavin and our trustees.

We are committed to ensuring that there is a secure future for Dorset’s nature - its distinctive wildlife and natural spaces. We use a sound evidence base, influence and wide practical experience of land management and marine conservation to inspire, inform and engage people in Dorset.

Through our guidance we help others to carry forward policies that are beneficial for nature within both the rural and urban economy. We provide opportunities for everyone to appreciate and understand Dorset's unparalleled natural heritage and strives to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a quality of life at least as rich and diverse as we have now.

We do this in Dorset through co-operating in partnerships and also regionally and nationally, through our affiliation with 46 other County Trusts within the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. Find out more at The Wildlife Trusts website.

Join us and help protect Dorset's wildlife and wild places 

Meet our President, Vice Presidents, Trustees, Patrons and Management Team

Meet our team, including our new President Dr George McGavin. Simply click the arrows to learn more.

Introducing Dr George McGavin

Dorset Wildlife Trust is delighted to welcome Dr George McGavin as its new President. Communications Officer, Sally Welbourn, met George to find out more about his passions for the natural world and what he hopes to achieve in Dorset over the next three years working with DWT.

George McGavin considers himself to be a very lucky man. He’s doing his dream job, and his CV is pretty full.  An entomologist, author, academic, television presenter and explorer, George has used his passion and knowledge to educate and inspire others to appreciate the natural world as much as he does.  You may be familiar with him from his appearances on the BBC One Show or as co-presenter of the BBC series; Expedition.

Working in television was an unexpected venture, but George’s passion for wildlife developed from a young age. He said, “The natural world was all I was interested in when growing up. I feel that we should all be completely obsessed with it. If you take it away then we have nothing left.”

Whilst working as a teacher and a researcher at Oxford University, George had already done a few things on TV, but he started to realise that he was preaching to the converted in academia. “I felt that being on TV was an important job, and I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.  I needed to reach a new audience. I was at Oxford University for 25 years and I was lucky to be paid to share my enthusiasm for the natural world but in December 2007 I typed my resignation letter, and my career in TV started after that.”

For George, TV was not a planned career path.  Having suffered with a bad stammer until about 14 years of age, it’s the last thing he imagined himself doing. “TV happened very suddenly, it wasn’t planned. I got better at controlling my stammer but it will never completely go away. I am very fortunate to have experienced expeditions, explorations, pre-historic autopsies and dissections, and have made over 100 films for The One Show.” 

Education is also a key part of George’s environment manifesto: “More education about the natural world and understanding the damage we are doing is needed.  If I could rule the world, teachers would be the most highly paid – especially in primary and junior education as this is the place awareness of our environment for children should start. From the ages of 5-10 children learn more than any other time in their lives. It’s hard to unlearn bad habits, but if they are instilled early on then there is hope.  We should be encouraging kids to get outside in the natural world.” 

George has chosen Dorset as one of his favourite places in the UK, and with good reason. “Heathland is my favourite habitat, and there’s plenty of that in Dorset.  It’s much like Scotland, with Scots pine, heather and bracken, but it’s warmer! I adore the South West Coast Path: it’s so uplifting walking along it and reminds us that we live on an island.  The varied typology, diverse range of habitats and micro habitats makes Dorset a unique spot. I plan to retire to this wonderful county.”

Along with Dorset Wildlife Trusts’ members, supporters, volunteers and partners, George believes strongly that we should appreciate what we have and do everything we can to take care of it and value it. 

He said: “Being President of DWT is a 3-year appointment and I’d like to be able to do as much as I can to further the aims of the Trust.  I was born whilst Wildlife Trusts were being established in the UK, and believe they are so important to the management and protection of our environment, not just locally, but nationally.  At the end of these 3 years, I want to feel I’ve made a difference and look forward to meeting like-minded members and supporters, and welcoming and inspiring new ones.”  

George McGavin © Sally Welbourn

George McGavin © Sally Welbourn

Meet our CE and Management Team

Public Documents

Below you will also find information about our strategic plan, financial review and supporter care charter. Simply click the arrows to learn more.

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Woodland (veteran trees) in Dorset © Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION