Coronavirus update

Covid-19 Organisational Risk Assessment - 1st July 2020

C-19 is a hazard, the virus is spread in minute water droplets that are expelled from the body through sneezing, coughing, talking and breathing. The virus can be transferred directly from person to person by inhalation or from contaminated surfaces where it can enter the body, normally by touch, via the mouth, nose or eyes. It may also enter the body via breaks in the skin. It can survive on surfaces for a period after transfer, depending on such things as the surface type, its moisture content and temperature; as C-19 virus environmental survival periods are not certain we will assume it could be indefinite. We have concluded that if it is passed from one person to another, while many survive infection, some people suffer long-term debilitation and others may die from the disease it should be regarded as a very serious hazard.

The Trust and our people
The Trust accepts its responsibility to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to health and safety and welfare at work of its paid staff, volunteers and visitors; and to keep them informed about health and safety.
In light of the C-19 crisis the Trust is committed to protecting our staff, volunteers and other people we work with, and to playing our part in managing the current situation. As such this risk assessment has been created in order to protect those people who are returning to work after the initial ‘Lock-Down’. We understand that people have concerns and the Trust will not expect any staff or volunteers to undertake activities that put them at unreasonable risk, or that causes them stress or anxiety as a result of C-19.

Shielding and working from home
The Trust will work with all declared vulnerable people to protect them, including redesigning work patterns to allow them to work from home. Current advice (up to 4th July) on protecting vulnerable people can be found:…

Isolation requirements
For all our staff and volunteers we will continue to require the self-isolation recommended by the government for the life span of this risk assessment.
During isolation people may continue to work at home if they are otherwise well enough. If they have a temperature after the prescribed period they must continue to isolate.…

Working from home
Working from home remains the first (and priority) option for managing safety under C-19.
The Trust will review the provisions for ‘homeworking’ and ensure that staff and key volunteers have home work stations and conditions suitable for the type and duration of homeworking they expect to be undertaking.
If staff or key volunteers do not have home-based facilities suitable for the tasks they are expected to carry out they will be offered access to such facilities at work.
Where is the risk and who is at risk
We have assessed that at the following workplaces people may be at risk of exposure to C-19 as a result of our work, either by direct contamination by others or from encountering contaminated surfaces, equipment or material.
HQ, Sandy Hill, Middleton; Belper Charity Shop; Bakewell Charity Shop; Derby Charity Shop; Black Rocks Concession; Whistlestop Café; DWT Nature Reserves and other wildlife sites DWT manage.

In addition to activity risk assessments staff and volunteers are required to undertake C-19 specific dynamic risk assessments when they visit 3rd party sites.
Travelling to work and between jobs
Employees should not travel unless they cannot work from home. The shared use of vehicles, or use of pool vehicles should be avoided. Employees should continue to follow any further national government advice provided and during this time our people should limit their use of public transport. Where travel is essential, please walk, bike or use private, single occupancy vehicles where possible.

Contractors or visitors
As part of our work the Wildlife Trust will at times engage contractors to undertake work on our behalf, on our properties or third party sites. In addition we may have to allow visitors to our properties that would otherwise be restricted to known and risk assessed staff and volunteers. Before any contracts can be issued or visitors permitted specific method statements will be created and agreed.

Other Health and Safety systems
Other current risk assessments, method statements and procedures will be reviewed to ensure that changes in practices to address the C-19 crisis do not negatively impact existing safety.

The Overarching C-19 Risk assessment will be circulated to all staff and active volunteers and posted on our website. The resulting ‘activity assessment’ documents will be available to all employees via the DWT Server. Line Managers will ensure that all staff and key volunteers are suitably informed regarding current guidance available about C-19 and the mitigation procedures in place for the Trust workplaces in general and their agreed activities in particular.

This assessment is valid until 31st July 2020.

Coronavirus Update: 18th June 2020

We would just like to start by saying thank you for all of your support over this difficult period, it has meant so much to us and we can't thank you enough.


As you know the majority of our reserves are open. Those with gate/hide locks will remain closed. If visiting our reserves, we would advise you to continue to follow Government social distancing guidelines to help control the spread of Covid-19.

We wanted to provide some more clarity on this, and the following reserves are permit only reserves, and they are still closed:

Broadhurst Edge, Drakelow, Duckmanton, Golden Brook, Lock Lane, Mapperley Wood and Spring Wood.

These reserves are closed because we need to keep them locked as part of our agreement with the landowner.  Due to Covid-19, we did a risk assessment with all landowners and agreed to keep the above sites closed to the public for safety reasons.

Shops & Cafes:

On 15th June, the government eased restrictions on non essential retail, allowing businesses to reopen provided that they are able to comply with guidelines regarding the Coronavirus social distancing and hygiene standards. Our shops at Belper, Bakewell and Derby and our cafes in Matlock Bath and Cromford will remain closed until further notice whilst we establish the feasibility of reopening them within those guidelines. The safety of our staff, volunteers and customers continues to be of primary importance to us in all our trading activity and the decision to reopen will only be made once we are confident that all mitigating measures are in place. We will be updating our website with our reopening plans as they are confirmed.

If you have the opportunity to save your donations of unwanted items for us, we will be announcing shortly where/how we will be accepting donations - we can't thank you enough for thinking of us at this troubling time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Coronavirus Update: 14th May 2020

The messages of support we have received during the past two months have been a great source of strength to everyone at our charity during this challenging time, and for that – we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you.

We hope we have done our bit to brighten your day through our daily social media content, ENewsletters and webinars. We are extremely pleased so many of you are using our Get Wild at Home resources to stay engaged with wildlife, watch our webcams and catch up on any of the webinars:  Get Wild At Home

Following on from the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday evening, we’d like to offer you an update on where things stand with our nature reserves, visitor centres, charity shops and events programme.

We are eager to get everything open and back up and running as quickly as possible so people can enjoy nature, wildlife and the great outdoors, but the health and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers and visitors remains our priority. Returning from lockdown will not be an easy thing to do.

For now, the majority of our reserves are open. Those with gate/hide locks will remain closed. If visiting our reserves, we would advise you to continue to follow Government social distancing guidelines to help control the spread of Covid-19.

Our Visitor Centres and cafes at Matlock and BlackRock and our charity shops in Derby, Bakewell and Belper, remain closed for now.

We have taken the decision to cancel all our events and activities up until the end of June, and we will be monitoring and making decisions on how we can get things up and running again afterwards.

We will continue with our live Q&A webinars and encourage you to come along to those. You will find latest information on our website and social media pages.

Nature continues to bring many of us solace in these difficult times, so do continue to take time out of your day to enjoy the wild places around you, whether that be in your garden, local park or nature reserve if you can. Take a look at some of our ideas to engage with the wildlife around you ‘Get Wild At Home’  and register for our annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, for inspiration and encouragement throughout the month of June!

This remains an extremely challenging time for us all, and here at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is no different. We will continue to update you regularly about our plans, but in the meantime please follow all Government advice, and stay safe.

If you have any questions, the best ways to get in touch are via email

Thank you so much for your continued support. Everyone at the Trust appreciates the contribution you make to ensure we continue to be the county’s largest nature conservation charity, looking after wildlife and wild places where you live.

Coronavirus Update: 3rd April 2020

Following the closure of our shops and with the lockdown in place we will be placing half our staff on furlough under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. These are incredibly challenging times and we have made this decision in order to protect the future of the trust and to protect jobs.

During this crisis we will continue to protect wildlife and offer advice and help to supporters, wildlife enthusiasts and landowners wherever we can.

Our shops and cafes closed on 23rd March. Unfortunately we will also now have to close our nature reserves.

During this period of isolation, getting outside and connecting with nature has huge benefits. This is why we are offering free wildlife ideas, videos and live events for kids and adults through Get Wild Home.

Our staff, volunteers and supporters have been incredible through this time of great uncertainty. Thank you. We all look forward to the time when this crisis comes to an end, when we can reconnect with each other and the wonders of wildlife all around us.

Jo Smith,

CEO Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Coronavirus update: 24th March 2020

In line with government advice we have closed our charity shops and café.

You can still shop for gifts for loved ones, activities and books to engage you with nature and our new Beaver Adoption Pack using our online shop. We also plan to offer free postage and packing during this time.

Our nature reserves are open but we urge everybody to practise social distancing everywhere. This means you should only visit a reserve if it is on your doorstep. Unfortunately the hides are now locked but will reopen as soon as possible for people to enjoy them again.

We know that access to nature is important for health and wellbeing.  We are promoting a range of fun and educational activities via Get Wild at Home to keep people connected to wildlife. This will be updated with new videos and more in the days ahead.

Most volunteering activities have now been suspended. Some individual volunteer activity will continue within safe working practices for checking stock and nature reserves. For more details [click here]

Thank you to all supporters for your continued understanding during these exceptional times

Jo Smith,

CEO Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Coronavirus update: 17th March 2020

In the light of the current COVID19 pandemic, we want to let you know about the measures we are taking and how these may affect you when visiting and contacting Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

Our nature reserves are open and remain excellent places to unwind with wildlife, get fresh air, headspace and exercise, away from any crowd.

In line with government advice we are cancelling some events and activities.  At the moment our charity shops remain open and we will continue to run our schools programmes as well as most of our outdoor events. However, this is very likely to change in the near future.  We will be updating this page with any updates we have about our shops and events.

We are of course being extraordinarily vigilant in regards to cleanliness, and will be reviewing our position regularly. We ask that all supporters, visitors and volunteers take sensible precautions, and respect and support each other.

Many of our office staff have started to work from home and this will be the normal working practise until the current emergency passes. This will make it more difficult to respond promptly to telephone queries so we would prefer you email

If you wish to come to our head office or meet in person you will need to arrange this in advance. 

Thank you for all your support, and please take extra special care out there.

Jo Smith,

CEO Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Get Wild at Home

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Wilder Willington

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(C) George Bird

Barmy about beavers

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(C) Shutterstock