Welcome to our website

Mammal Group Logo       Find out about the group and its activities…

Follow us by clicking the “Follow this blog via email” link to ensure you stay up to date with new posts on the site.
Join WMG. Your contributions directly support mammal conservation across Wiltshire by funding surveys and training events. For more details visit membership.
Get involved. There are a variety of things you can do to help Witlshire’s mammals, ranging from surveys to helping to organise events. Contact us for more information.
Submit records. All supporters are encouraged to submit their mammal records. Visit the records page to find out how.

Banner photos courtesy of our members & supporters

Hampshire Mammal Group AGM- Re-wilding the British Countryside

Our neighbours at Hampshire Mammal Group are holding their annual open day and AGM on Saturday 26th November.  This year’s topic is on Re-wilding the British Countryside. They have some great speakers – looks like a great day!

If you would like to attend please see this leaflet for further information. hmg-open-day-agm-2016

There is a suggested donation of £5 for non HMG members.


What’s the UK’s favourite mammal? Biology Week 2016

This year a coalition of over 50 wildlife organisations completed a stock take of our native wildlife. The resulting State of Nature 2016 report concluded that it is not too late to save UK nature, but if we are to do so then we must act now. Over half of the species examined in the report have declined since 1970, while more than one in 10 species are at risk of extinction.

This Biology Week we’re asking you to choose your favourite mammal in a bid to highlight the diversity of mammals in the UK and to raise awareness of their conservation needs. There are a total of 101 different species of mammal in and around the UK. Alongside The Mammal Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species we narrowed this down to a top 10 and now it’s over to you to choose the UK’s favourite mammal.

Read more…… and choose your favourite.

Tracking Ratty – The Mammal Society & WildCRU

Save the Water Vole

Every year, many miles of habitat occupied by water voles is cleared by strimming. The idea is that water voles will move out of areas designated for development, and create new burrow systems elsewhere.

However, rather than moving animals from a dangerous construction site, there is a risk that the voles simply stay in the bare habitat, risking death from starvation or predation.

Therefore starting in mid-August, the Mammal Society will be working with WildCRU at the University of Oxford to assess the threat posed to water vole populations by strimming, and attempt to identify workable solutions. What is more, the recent changes in licensing requirements for work with water voles mean that the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations will be able to act on our findings.

Please help them to carry out this vital work, and spread the word among family and friends to donate.
£10 – will cover a day’s transport costs for one of our field staff radio-tracking the voles.
£30 – buys a water vole trap for relocations.

Click here to help the appeal

To find out more about the project, please visit the WildCRU website here.

The Mammal Society’s Water Vole Mitigation Handbook provides guidance on the recent changes in licensing requirements for water vole mitigation and is now available from NHBS here.

Help save water voles by purchasing The Water Vole by Christine Gregory

In the race to rescue one of Britain’s best-loved native animals, the Mammal Society is joining forces with Vertebrate Publishing to raise support for its Save the Water Vole campaign.
Vertebrate is offering a 20% discount to Mammal Society members who purchase a copy of Christine Gregory’s book, The Water Vole, which was commissioned to highlight the plight of this endangered species. Each time a member purchases a copy of the book; Vertebrate will donate 10% of the book’s RRP to the campaign.
To purchase a copy of The Water Vole for £13.59 (RRP £16.99) and donate to the water vole campaign, click HERE and enter code WATERVOLE at checkout.
More information on the project and appeal may be found here, on the WildCRU website site here and the project’s fantastic blog posts here!
Please consider supporting this important work!!

False Widow Spiders in Dormouse Boxes

Earlier this month, Sue Walker encountered a very splendid-looking False Widow Spider inside one of her dormouse boxes (near Salisbury, South Wiltshire). To our knowledge, this is the first time this species has been encountered in this way in Wiltshire – they are frequently encountered in dwellings and outbuildings. As Sue indicates, its another non-target species to look out for in bird/bat/dormouse boxes.

Bill Blumsom (Wiltshire County Spider recorder) kindly circulated some information on this species, drafted by the British Arachnological Society, to help dispel some of the myths associated with this species(and propagated by the media) . See here.


Thank you to Sue Walker and Bill Blumsom for kindly sharing this information.

A Beginners Guide to Living Record Online Recording

Monday 26th September at 3-4:30pm or 7-8:30pm.

Submitting your records to the local environmental records centre is an important step in helping to promote and safeguard your local natural environment. Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre (WSBRC) welcomes records submitted to them via Living Record, a powerful online tool that enables you to submit your wildlife sightings, which is gathering increasing support from recorders within Wiltshire (and elsewhere in the UK).

Living Record is a straightforward-to-use recording tool but, with a little training, recorders can utilise additional features to facilitate the submission of biological records. Records can make a real difference as they form part of the big picture at local and national levels.

Wild Connections and WSBRC are joining together to offer you a series of free training session on how to use Living Record.

We are running two sessions at our head office in Elm Tree Court Devizes; an afternoon session at 3pm – 4:30pm and an evening session at 7pm – 8:30pm on Monday 26th September. To book your place please click here.

Ban driven grouse shooting…..the impact upon our mammals…..

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing Foxes, Stoats, Mountain Hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including Hen Harriers.



Driven grouse shooting uses animals for live target practice, with thousands killed every day. Native predators are killed because they eat Red Grouse. Mountain Hares are killed because they carry ticks that can spread diseases to grouse. Heather is burned to increase Red Grouse numbers for shooting. Grouse shooting is economically, ecologically and socially unnecessary. This is ‘canned hunting’.

Supported by Eduardo Gonçalves, CEO of League Against Cruel Sports, Chris Packham and Bill Oddie.

Please  help by signing this e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.




Further evidence published today on Mark Avery’s blog concerning the impact upon our threatened, rare, protected mammals

Please sign the blog to signal your wish to our government that you wish to see change – the petition aimed to get 100,000 signatures and as of tonight, is almost at 115,000!! Add your voice and push for change – speak up for our wildlife.


PETITION: Protect UK Environment & Wildlife – adopt European environmental legislation.

WMG members may wish to support the following petition:

The vote to leave the EU could leave our wildlife at risk. The EU has developed a strong set of laws that protect the environment and our wildlife. As these laws will not apply when the UK leaves the EU we need new laws for the UK that give our precious wildlife and environment the same protection.


Wildlife didn’t get much of a mention in the referendum debate, that’s a shame as it was something that Europe treasures and its laws were very good for protecting the environment. Without new laws protected sites and our countryside might not be protected unless we have new laws that make sure we take care of it. Many species of plants, animals & invertebrates are declining, the UK Government should make it a priority to do what we can to stop this.