Wiltshire Wildlife Trust CEO to retire after 33 years dedicated to the wildlife and people of the county

After 33 years of dedicated service and amazing achievement for the wildlife and people of the county, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Dr Gary Mantle MBE has announced that he will retire this summer.
At the helm of the Trust for more than half the time since its formation in 1962, Gary has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the communities, landscape and nature of Wiltshire to create a more sustainable future for wildlife and people.

He has also made a tremendous contribution to conservation nationally and internationally, working closely with other Wildlife Trusts and forging strong partnerships with many other charities, public organisations and influential people to magnify the impact of the Trust’s work.
Gary Mantle said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have led the trust for so long. Together, we have achieved so much. In 1990, we had under 3,000 members and just eight staff. Today, we have more than 23,000 members, 26,000 social media followers and nearly 150 staff.
“We have acquired many nature reserves, building up our land under management for nature to more than 1,200ha across more than 40 reserves.”
As Wiltshire Wildlife Trust celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2022, the trust has reflected on its many achievements, both in Wiltshire and nationally.
The original primary objective set by the founders when it was established, to ensure there is nature left in Wiltshire for everyone to benefit from and enjoy, has been achieved.
However, many new, tough challenges have emerged. Over the decades, the trust has risen to the challenges and increased its ambition, repeatedly adapting its strategy and ways of working to tackle the most pressing challenges.

Gary with the then Prince Charles on Lower Moor Farm

Gary with the then Prince Charles
on Lower Moor Farm

For example, it now has a well-established farming operation that helps to manage its reserves for nature; and its thriving education and wellbeing teams provide people with the knowledge and understanding to lead more sustainable lives and enable them to benefit from nature.
With the climate and biodiversity crises, and major concerns about the threats to environmental legislation, the challenges have never been greater. While so much has been achieved, the need for the trust to play a key role in improving the prospects for nature and the environment at a landscape scale is clear and abundant.
Led by Trustees with a wealth of recruitment and leadership experience, the trust has put in place a process and timetable for recruiting Gary’s successor. It is confident that this prestigious, high profile role will attract outstanding candidates.
The new appointee will take up the post in the summer; Gary has kindly offered to provide advice and guidance to ensure a full handover when the new CEO joins.
Gary will retire leaving the trust extremely well-positioned to meet this need, having led the preparation of the new 2023-2030 strategy. The three key headline goals of the strategy, are that: nature will be in recovery; people will be taking action; and nature will be valued, to address enduring conservation and sustainability priorities head on.
You can read Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Strategy to 2030 at

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