Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group (YACWAG) is a registered charity whose aims are to establish and maintain nature reserves in the North Somerset Parishes of Yatton and Congresbury for the benefit of the public, and to advance education in natural history and nature conservation.

Our organisation

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:

  • Amphibians and Reptiles, Bats, Birds, Insects, Dormice and Small Mammals, Hedgehogs, Otters, Trees, and Flowers and Plants. See the Wildlife section for more.
  • YACWAG own and manage several nature reserves in the parishes of Yatton and Congresbury

Our trustees

Tony Moulin, Chairperson

"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."

TRUSTEE Leslie Millar
Leslie Millar, Treasurer

"I was brought up on an Agricultural College farm and always had a keen interest in farming and rural issues. This led me to study a degree in agriculture at Bangor in North Wales, which coincided, with the start of implementation of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 which moved nature conservation forward significantly. During my time at Bangor I was encouraged to think about ecology and the relationship with land management. Having finished my degree, I joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as a Dairy Husbandry Advisor working with dairy farmers to improve and sustain their businesses and working with environmental advisors to reduce the risk of pollution incidents etc. I then transferred into more financial roles and qualified as a professional accountant back in the early 1990s. Subsequently I transferred to the Ministry of Defence, where I work today. Despite this change in career I have continued to hold a close interest in environmental issues, particularly in terms of land management and the importance of sustaining diversity. Returning from a period of living in Bavaria, Germany we moved to Yatton 5 years ago and I set to work enjoying the North Somerset Levels. I became a member of YACWAG at the start of the year and are looking forward to getting more engaged."

Photo of YACWAG Trustee Richard Croucher
Richard Croucher, Vice Chairperson

Richard Croucher grew up in Kent and for twenty years worked on a fruit farm and enjoyed the countryside and nature without really thinking too much about it. He is widely travelled but is now settled in Yatton with his wife Agnieszka where he continues to learn and study the wildlife around him. Richard is a keen runner and cyclist and a user of the Strawberry Line. He is interested in the sustainability of YACWAG and the management of its nature reserves to increase biodiversity in the long term. In 2018 he became the Vice Chair of YACWAG and also serves on the Land Management group.

Chris Moore, Secretary

"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."

photo TRUSTEE Jonathan Clayden
Jonathan Clayden

"I have lived in Claverham with my wife Julie since 2015.
The challenges to the wild environment are evident all around us. There is pressure on nature on all sides from agriculture and from housing and other development. Many people – particularly here in North Somerset – are aware that something needs to be done to protect our environment, but are often at a loss as to what that should be. This is where I think YACWAG can take a powerful role. YACWAG has a superb resource of species-rich land already, but from this has the opportunity to grow and be a beacon for what can be done to protect and enhance the environment both locally and more widely."

Sue Lovesey

"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."

Faith Moulin

"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."

Roger Wood

Roger Wood has lived in Claverham for the last twenty years. He has been a Yatton parish councilor for the last ten years and a life member of YACWAG for fifteen years. Roger is interested in the wildlife around the village and has walked the bat surveys in Claverham for many years. He has also been on bird walks with Trevor Riddle (YACWAG’s "bird man") many times. Roger represents Yatton parish council as a Trustee of YACWAG. He has been retired for twelve years, having been a qualified engineer in the nuclear industry.

Meriel Harrison

"I spent my childhood in the Herefordshire countryside and have always been interested in wildlife and conservation. This led me to study Environmental Management, specialising in Protected Areas and Countryside Management, and to a career in environmental policy. Having spent a decade working for the National Parks, followed by a role focused on plastic pollution campaigns, I currently work in nature policy for a large nature conservation charity. I have lived in Yatton since 2019 and enjoy exploring the wildlife and countryside of the local area with my husband and two children."

Carol Tennant

"Having been brought up in rural Ireland, my upbringing instilled a love of nature and the outdoors. I moved to the UK in 2012 and, after several years of city living and enjoying urban nature, moved to Yatton in 2022. This move reignited my appreciation for the countryside and the vital need to protect and safeguard it, along with the wildlife, for generations to come. Motivated by these values, I joined YACWAG recognising the incredible work they do within the local community and the opportunity it provides to expand my knowledge of nature and the environment. Having previously worked in banking I am now a self-employed marketer working with SMEs including heritage and environmental businesses. I aspire to utilise these skills to amplify YACWAG's brand awareness and foster greater member engagement.."

Thomas Daw

"I am a young member of the green party and the parish councillor for Congresbury looking to get a place in making decisions to improve everyone's life while preventing climate change. I've spent my last few years studying and helping as much as possible with saving wildlife. I was then given the opportunity to help YACWAG through the parish council, which I could not turn down. YACWAG is such a important part to maintaining the local wildlife, the green belt and Bio-diversity. I think sometimes people can overlook how much this charity maintains the way of life, without it we most defiantly would not be surrounded by the amount of nature we are now. I am now proud to be a part of this charity and I would encourage everyone else to help."

Linda Bourton 

"I grew up in the north of England spending my holidays visiting family in Cumbria which developed my love of the outdoors; walking in the hills and along the Lancashire coast. I moved to Congresbury with my family in 2000 and I really value the countryside we have on our doorstep including the Strawberry Line full of wildlife and the walks along the Congresbury Yeo.

l semi retired from nursing a couple of years ago and with my free time I joined YACWAG and got involved with some bird counts at Cobthorne Reserve and the Education and Events group which I really enjoy. I hope that becoming a trustee will allow me to further support YACWAGs aims of maintaining the local nature reserves and advancing education of nature conservation in our local area."