Each year, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust awards a number of grants to individuals undertaking nature conservation projects. Projects may involve practical habitat or species management, research, training, education, awareness raising or campaigning. 

We will have a rolling programme of areas of interest for funding, which will change for each round of applications. Please ensure that your project is eligible for funding before applying. 

The deadline for the current round of applications has now passed. We are now accepting applications for the March round of applications: Conservation of Asian birds, particularly Asian song birds. Please see table below for further information:

Date for next round of applications

Application timeframe

Area of interest

May 2019

1st November 2018 - 31st March 2019

Conservation of Asian passerines


December 2019 1st April - 31st October 2019

Conservation of endangered plant species



The Trust awards grants to both UK and overseas projects, and they typically range in value from £500 to £1,500. It is unlikely that the Trust would make an award for more than £1,500.

Applications are considered biannually - in May and December - at a meeting of the Awards Committee. We receive many applications and are pleased to be able to support around 10% of applicants. Please note that, following the meeting of the Awards committee, we are only able to contact those applicants who are successful in being awarded funding. 

Please note:

We are unable to process an application if the supporting documentation has not been received.

Applications to participate in expeditions arranged by large organisations will not be considered.

We do not support applications where the total cost of your project exceeds £15,000.

Retrospective funding (i.e. funding for a project that has already begun) will not be provided for any project.

All applications and supporting documentation must be written in English.

There are four steps to the application process: 
1. Check your eligibility for funding

The Awards are open to all, and each application is judged on its own merits, however there are a number of topics that the Awards Committee are particularly interested in, which are detailed below:

  • Research into the ecology of rare and threatened species and habitats.
  • Projects which aim to encourage increased awareness of ecology, conservation and environmental issues in local communities, and to educate people on how to develop and carry out sustainable management practices in those communities.
  • Research into how human activity affects species and habitats, and how any potential human-animal conflict can be managed.
  • Projects which aim to design and implement conservation education programmes.
  • Research into the welfare and breeding success of animals in captivity.

We will have a rolling programme of areas of interest for funding, which will change for each round of applications. Please check the top of this page for information on this.

Some examples of successful applications in the past:

• A forest conservation club in Nigeria
• The development of a monitoring programme for threatened frogs of Andasibe, Madagascar
• Research project evaluating the habitat requirements of Sulawesi crested black macaques in Indonesia
• Community-based conservation of Asian elephants in Rakhine Yoma, Myanmar
• Research into nesting material preference in wild dormice
• Monitoring storm impacts on Slapton Sands, Devon
• An investigation into the impact of street lighting on larval feeding and development in the garden tiger moth in Cornwall
• Makgadikgadi brown hyaena project: tackling the problem of conserving large and rare carnivores living in conflict with humans
• Research into the captive management and conservation of the blue crowned laughing thrush
• An investigation into reptile diversity in Quirimbas National Park, Mozambique
• ‘SPLOSH’ community marine festival: raising awareness of climate change and the marine environment.

2. Complete an application form

Once you have decided to apply, simply complete the online application form. You will also need to send the following supporting documentation with your application form:

  • A project description, which will need to include aims, method, outcomes and conservation benefits. This should be no longer than ONE SIDE OF A4.
  • A copy of your most recent CV. This should be no longer than TWO SIDES OF A4.
  • An independent letter of support for your project. This should be on headed paper and should be from someone who knows you well and who is familiar with your project (see below for further information on this).

You will be able to upload these documents on the final page of the application form. 

For those people who experience internet connectivity problems, there is the option to download a Word application form, which can be downloaded here and emailed to the Trust Secretary [email protected] with all the necessary supporting documentation. Please note that this Word form should only be used if you experience internet connectivity issues. All other applicants should use the online application form.

For those applicants who do not have access to the appropriate internet/email facilities, all documents can be sent by post to the address at the bottom of this page.

3. Contact your referee

You need to arrange for a referee statement/letter to be submitted on headed paper in support of your application. This should be from someone who knows you well and who is familiar with the project. This can be uploaded with your application form or emailed to the Trust Secretary [email protected] either by yourself or your referee. It can also be sent by post to the address at the bottom of this page if access to the appropriate facilities is not available. If this work will be carried out within an Institution or using its facilities, please provide evidence that they are aware of this, either by using a referee from that institution or by enclosing a separate letter confirming this.

4. Submit your application in time

The deadline for receipt of applications for the May meeting is 31st March and the deadline for the December meeting is 31st October. You will be notified once we have received your completed application form. We prefer applications to be submitted via the online application form but will accept postal applications from those who do not have access to appropriate facilities.

Hearing back from us following the Awards committee meeting

Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we are only able to contact those applicants who have been successful in gaining WWCT funding for their project. You can expect to hear back from us within two weeks of the Awards committee meetings, which take place in May and December.

Reporting on your project

Should you be successful in receiving an Award, we will require a progress/final project report from you within eight months of you receiving your Award. This report should be emailed to the Trust Secretary at [email protected]. We may wish to publish this report on our website and it may also be made available to interested parties. Your report will need to acknowledge WWCT as a funder and will need to include our logo, a copy of which can be emailed to you. There is no set format or length for the report.

If you do not wish for your full report to be published on our website or be made available to other interested parties, you will also need to provide us with a 150 word summary (for a non-specialist audience) and a photograph if appropriate. This summary may be made available to staff and trustees via our intranet, and to other interested parties. The summary will need to be sent to us with your main report within eight months of you receiving your Award. These should also be emailed to the Trust Secretary at [email protected]

Your report and project information may also be referred to in our social media posts.

Examples of successful projects

The table below shows a few of the most recent successful project applications with their 50-word summaries:

Topic Location Description
Project Bawan Borneo We aim to travel to the peatland forest of Bawan in Borneo to conduct a survey assessing herpetological diversity of different habitats. Working alongside local conservation organisations, our scientific research will help to secure the future of peatland rainforests and protect them from unsustainable levels of deforestation.
The impacts of changing land use in fragmented sub-tropical coastal forests KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa We aim to use camera-trapping methods to assess whether small fragmented coastal forest patches continue to provide viable habitat for rare and endemic forest mammals in southern KwaZulu-Natal. Ongoing habitat loss and illegal resource extraction continue to alter the already fragmented natural habitat, threatening mammal populations with potential for local extinctions.
Coral Nursery and Rehabilitation Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia Blue Temple Conservation’s Coral Nursery project will create a unique educational approach to coral rehabilitation. Teaming up with the Department of Marine Parks and local villagers, the team is redeveloping the degrading reefs within Pulau Perhentian using tried and tested Reef Check Malaysia methods.
Presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Chough Populations of Islay Islay, UK Avermectin (AVM) residues are found in livestock faeces due to anti-parasitic drug treatments. There are growing concerns for declining Chough populations on Islay and it is debated whether the residues of AVMs are having a harmful impact on Chough populations due to contamination of their diet.
Stop Wildlife Crime, Protect Malawi’s Wildlife Malawi A project to aid the conservation of Elephants and Malawi’s wildlife. The film Stop Wildlife Crime, Protect Malawi’s Wildlife produced by Jamie Unwin will be shown to remote communities in Malawi by a bicycle-power projection system constructed by the team. The team will also lead outreach programs.
Further information

If you require any further information or assistance with the Awards scheme, please telephone the Trust Secretary on 01803 697513.

Address for postal applications: Trust Secretary, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU.