Salisbury residents get up close and personal with wildlife

Hundreds of Salisbury residents and visitors enjoyed a close encounter with wildlife on the 21st September in Guildhall Square at the Country Comes To The City event.

Wildlife experts were on hand to speak to visitors about the range of animal and plant species and habitats that can be found across Wiltshire and what people can do to support the Trust in reversing the decline in the county’s wildlife, from wildlife-friendly gardening to living more sustainably.

The free event featured a range of family-friendly, wildlife-inspired activities such as animal face-painting, basket-weaving, and pole-lathing, and those attending also had the opportunity to see birds of prey, bees, and sheep close up to learn more about their important roles in the ecosystem.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust staff also showcased the wide range of projects the Trust delivers to provide a more sustainable future for people and wildlife and improve mental health and wellbeing through engagement with nature.

The event was sponsored by Wessex Water, who are this year celebrating 20 years of a joint project with WWT and others to restore Wiltshire’s chalk streams. Wessex Water staff offered free drinking water to passers-by whilst telling them about the work they do to provide clean water to local households.

While the event was taking place, the Trust held its annual general meeting the Guildhall. As well as describing future challenges, the many achievements of the past year were described and celebrated. The AGM was followed by the annual Volunteer Awards, where the incredible contribution of some of the Trust's hundreds of volunteers was recognised. 

Chief Executive Dr Gary Mantle MBE said of the day:

Today has been fantastic – we were delighted to bring Country Comes To The City to Salisbury for the first time to speak to local residents about what we can do together to reverse the alarming decline in species and habitats across our wonderful county. It’s been really inspiring to see people of all ages and from all walks of life learning more about Wiltshire’s wildlife whilst having a huge amount of fun in the process.


Kirsty Scarlett, Head of Community Engagement at Wessex Water, said:

Through our community programme, we’ve been supporting projects across Wiltshire to help preserve its nature and wildlife and support the people who live here. We know our customers care passionately about the environment, whether they live in urban or rural areas, and it was great to meet so many of them at Country Comes To The City.

Image by Ralph Harvey