In April 2019 the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust (IoSWT) and Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) entered into a new partnership; working together for, and recognising the importance of Scilly’s precious nature and landscapes.  Here's an update just over one year on.

There were two main elements to this newly formed partnership; the first launched on the 4th April 2019.  Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Marine Ranger, Natalie, made her maiden voyage aboard the ISSG’s Scillonian III; offering passengers the opportunity to find out more about the Islands, our wildlife, places to visit and things to do during their visit, as well as exploring the work of the Trust and how visitors' valuable support enables this small Island charity to look after Scilly, now and for future generations.  

Since this time the Trust’s Marine Ranger has completed a total of 98 sailings (44 from Penzance to Scilly and 44 from Scilly to Penzance), clocking up a total of 4312 nautical miles (the equivalent of sailing from Cornwall to Brazil!), spoken to more than 2000 individuals and raised more than £2480 from on board donations and gangway collections.

Sadly, the Islands’ 2020 season didn’t get off the ground before the COVID-19 restrictions came into force; but given the feedback received from passengers during 2019, both Travel & Trust are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the Islands as soon as it is safe to do so.

The second element to the newly formed partnership, the “Donate Button”, was launched later in April 2019.  “The Button” appears on the Isles of Scilly Travel Website Booking Page, giving customers the opportunity to donate to the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust when they are booking and paying for their travel to and from the Islands. In October 2019 the option to Gift Aid that donation was also offered to IoS Travel Customers.   “The Button” was implemented following a survey of visitors to Scilly where 75% of respondents said they would like the opportunity to support the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust by giving a donation when they booked their transport.

Almost one year on, IoS Travel customers have shown their love of Scilly’s natural environment by donating an amazing £21,336 to the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust via “The Button”. 

Sarah Mason, Chief Executive, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust (pictured below with IoSWT Chair, Neil, & ISSG CE, Stuart) stated “Your donations are already being put to good use; allowing the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust to employ our Marine Ranger for another season; enabling diversification of communications including video diaries, blogs, social media content, “#WildlifeWednesday”; facilitating the development of a programme of marine awareness raising activities and interpretation, including a “Watching Wildlife Safely” leaflet; enabling further work with Five Islands Academy assisting pupils with the development of an Eco-Club and Youth Environment Panel and so much more.” 

Sarah continued, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group for supporting our independent Island charity, recognising the far reaching benefits of our work to their business, whilst giving visitors to Scilly the opportunity to donate and ensuring our work can continue. I would also like to thank all of those who have made donations via this method to date; as you can see it all adds up and really helps.”

Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Chair & CEO with Isles of Scilly Steamship Group CEO

Sharon Sandercock, Marketing & Communications Manager, Isles of Scilly Steamship Group shared, “Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Marine Ranger, Natalie, travelled on the Scillonian III twice a week during the peak summer months of the 2019 season, offering valuable insight to our passengers about the marine life and seabirds that can be spotted during the journey both to and from Scilly.  Natalie was also able to provide information regarding the valuable work of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, the importance of the charity’s work to Scilly and the environment, as well as general information about what to expect and experience whilst in Scilly.”

Sharon continued, “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with the Trust, supporting where we can and encouraging others to do so as well; the opportunity for our customers to donate to the Trust when booking their travel, introduced in 2019, has been well received and we hope that it will continue to be.  Together we can ensure that the place we all love, Scilly, is looked after for the benefit of wildlife, the local community and those who visit.”

Both organisations are continuing to work together on new projects and ideas to enhance travellers’ experiences when visiting Scilly; recognising the need to protect and look after the Islands' fragile natural environment and wildlife, both now and for future generations. 

If you would like to help Keep Scilly Special why not become a Friend of Scilly Wildlife?  Protect what’s important to you; Scilly’s animals, plants and stunning natural beauty.