YACWAG’S constitution was adopted with revisions on 28th June 1999 and was registered as a charity on 2nd July 1999. The charity is administered by an Executive Committee made up of 12 trustees, of whom two are nominated - one from Yatton Parish Council and one from Congresbury Parish Council.
YACWAG has a number of special interest groups who organise activities.
Currently we have volunteers working in the following areas:
As a youngster I loved the countryside and was fascinated by nature on my great uncle’s smallholding on my holidays. I graduated in Business Studies and had three careers: in Industrial Relations, as a lecturer in Management, and as an Independent District Councillor. I blended my professional skills and experience with those of an amateur naturalist as a Trustee and Vice Chair of Avon Wildlife Trust. Inspired by Local Agenda 21, my vision was to make a difference for wildlife at parish level and formed local conservation groups that eventually led to the purchase of Ten Acres and the foundation of YACWAG in 1999. In 2005 I was awarded ITV West’s second Local Hero prize and in 2011 I received the Marsh Award for Community Wetland Conservation.
Growing up in a town with no car and no access to the countryside nature was not a big part of my childhood, though once on holiday seeing a field full of lapwings stands out in my memory. Moving to Yatton in 1971 I walked on the Strawberry Line and Cadbury Hill - I couldn’t help watching the wildlife and noticing the passing of the seasons. I got involved with the Friends of Biddle Street SSSI and helped with practical conservation work as well as learning a lot about wildlife. When the proposal was made in 1999 to set up YACWAG my obvious role was to be Secretary which had been my job in Glasgow and London. I enjoy doing admin. work and keeping in touch with members as well as helping organise events.
Viv has worked in finance and administration for small businesses and charities for over 30 years. In 1999 she set up a bookkeeping company in Bristol providing socially aware and green minded SMEs and charities with bookkeeping support and training. 13 years ago she relocated to North Somerset and has gradually downsized her business to allow more time for her passion of wildlife conservation work parties and wildlife surveys.
A lifelong interest in the natural world, as well as being resident in Congresbury, led me to YACWAG in 1999. I became a Trustee in 2006. My aim is to introduce children to the natural world at an early age. As a trained primary school teacher, I spent most of my professional life at St Andrew’s School supporting children with additional needs. That, and twenty-five years as a volunteer with Congresbury Cubs and helping with the Youth Partnership, resulted in a network of contacts which enable YACWAG to engage more effectively with these young people’s groups. YACWAG’s Environmental Fund, for which I am a named contact, has supported them in various projects. I enjoy participating in surveys, doing physical work on our reserves and meeting people at YACWAG public events. I am now blessed with two grandchildren whose interest in nature I nurture. Their generation is the future of YACWAG and of our planet.
After reading mathematical physics at university I qualified as an Actuary and worked in the life assurance industry. During my working career I held a number of senior positions including Finance Director and Chief Actuary with responsibility for the actuarial, accounting and investment teams. I was also Chairman of the Investment Committee and the Staff Pension Scheme Trustees. My family moved to Claverham 30 years ago and shortly after we arrived I replanted an old orchard with a smaller one and a woodland of native trees. Now fully grown the trees have been adopted as their roost by the flock of jackdaws that are regularly seen flying around Claverham and Yatton. My wife is a homeopath and I have two married daughters, the eldest living in London works for the London Symphony Orchestra and the youngest is a Reader at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
I was ‘always’ interested in nature and when we moved to Yatton in 1975 that developed with our family. When our daughter, Natasha, was 12, she won a national WATCH competition to design a wildlife garden and received Chris Baines’ inspirational book on the subject. We started a WATCH group for older children and that led us into Avon Wildlife Trust. Tony and I ran the WATCH group for 13 years and a local Wildlife Trust group as well. Learning all the time, I did a 12 month course as a tree warden and developed my love of trees. Secretarially trained and interested in writing I became editor of the Avon Watch and Wildlife Trust magazines in the 90s, and now edit the YACWAG newsletter. I became a Trustee of YACWAG because I am totally committed to its work. I also act as the Chairperson’s personal assistant.
Richard Ashley is a resident of Congresbury and has been a member of YACWAG for twenty years. He has been interested Natural History and Geology since he was a boy and is very concerned that what were once common species have declined in numbers over that period. He believes that it is vital to support YACWAG and organisations like it to reverse this decline. As well as his role as Trustee of YACWAG he is also the Geology Secretary and a member of the Council of Bristol Naturalists’ Society.