Current Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Sarah Mason, is leaving Scilly after 8 years of leadership and 23 years within the Wildlife Trust family to take up a new Chief Executive role in the North of England.

Sarah’s leadership of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has seen many changes and successes for the locally-run, island charity over the past 8 years, including but not limited to:

  • becoming a financially resilient charity deemed worthy of support by residents and visitors;
  • investing in one of the first “commercial” Electric Vehicles in Scilly and encouraging others to do the same;
  • the inclusion of a “donate” button on the Isles of Scilly Travel website;
  • a significant programme of installation of recycled plastic boardwalks across the wetland sites on St Mary’s, to replace worn out and rotten timber ones.
  • the return, and subsequent increase, of many plant species due to excellent land management by the Trust including:
    • Spring squill (Scilla verna),
    • Bog pimpernel (Anagallis tenella), last recorded at Higher Moors in 1952;
    • Bog stitchwort (Stellaria alsine), last recorded at Higher Moors in 2002;
    • A 5000% increase in Ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) since 2015;
    • The return of the Dwarf pansy (Viola kitaibeliana) on the uninhabited Island of Tean after a 17 year absence.
  • working closely with other, often much larger, national and international charities and organisations to ensure that Scilly’s natural environment is championed and has “a voice”; to name but a few.

On her arrival in 2013, from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Sarah began the process of integrating nature conservation and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust into hearts and minds of those who work, live in and visit Scilly.  Also ensuring that Scilly was truly represented whenever the phrase “Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly” was spoken in the world of nature conservation. 

During this time Sarah has represented the Trust (and nature conservation in Scilly) on the AONB Partnership, Island Futures Board, Smart Islands Partnership, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership Board, Climate Adaption Scilly working group, and Islands Partnership Board; offering information, advice, guidance and a wealth of experience in all matters of the natural world.  

Additionally, the Trust now benefits from being a charity that has much more public support than when Sarah arrived, with numerous ways in which people can give financial support; whether that is via the website, social media, legacies, raffles, appeals, online shop, lottery, donation posts and the Isles of Scilly Travel “donate” button.  All of which have only become possible during the past 8 years.

Sarah Mason says: After 8 successful years, it is time for me to move on to pastures new and share my skills and passion for nature’s recovery in a new part of the world.  I take with me many memories and I wish the team (current and future) all the very best.  The Trust is a charity worthy of support whether you live in or visit Scilly and I hope it will continue to thrive long into the future.”

Neil Jones, Chair of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, said: “During her time at the Trust Sarah has instigated and implemented many changes; meaning our Island charity is in a better position than it has been for many years.  Sarah’s knowledge, passion and careful consideration have inspired and encouraged others to think about the importance of nature conservation and what can be done to help preserve our wildlife, heritage and wild places.  Sarah will be missed and we are very grateful for the many successes she has facilitated during her time in Scilly.  Scilly’s loss is certainly Morecambe Bay’s gain!”

Sarah leaves the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust at the end of July to become CEO of Morecambe Bay Partnership; a locally-run charity with a vision of a thriving Morecambe Bay, rich in landscape, wildlife and culture, which connects and inspires residents and visitors alike.