Scientific research on NWT nature reserves


NWT supports the use of its nature reserves for research into species and habitats, or other appropriate areas of research. In nearly all cases, permission will be required before this research is carried out.


The Trust requires at least two weeks notice of any research in order to grant permission, but please note that at least one month is needed if your work is on a SSSI and requires formal Natural England consent. We advise that as much notice as possible is given, particularly if you need to arrange transport and accommodation in the area. The notice period is required as we often have to consult with other parties such as landowners (where we are not the owner), tenants and organisations such as Natural England.

What we need to know

In order to make an informed decision we need to know the following:

  • Where you wish to carry out the work (as specifically as possible)
  • What the work entails
  • Whether you need to remove samples or specimens
  • When you would like to undertake the work
  • A brief summary of why you are wanting to do the work and the aim of the project

Justifying and backing up the request

You must be able to justify your work. In most cases where disturbance is minimal, this will simply be part of the aims and summary. If you wish to take samples of species then it is your responsibility to prove that the population is robust enough to accept this, and the justification for needing to take samples must be clear.

If you need to work with protected species, it is your responsibility to have suitable licences in place and you must supply us with a copy. We will ask for additional information on the proposals if you have not provided sufficient information to allow us to make a decision, which could delay the process of granting permission.

Getting assistance from the Trust

Generally the Trust is not in a position to provide help with the project, but in some cases we may be able to meet with you in the Trust offices or out on site to help clarify things. If you require staff assistance, equipment from the Trust or help gaining access to the site, then in most cases a charge would need to be made to help cover our costs.

Providing us with results of research

It is a requirement of granting access for research that a copy of the results is made available to the Trust at no cost.

Health and Safety

The Trust endeavours to ensure its sites are safe and free from hazards for the visiting public. However, where access is required away from public areas there may be hazards that need to be considered. It is your responsibility to undertake suitable risk assessments and to have suitable insurance for the work being undertaken. While the Trust can advise on risks and hazards on its sites, it is your responsibility to ensure you work safely and have appropriate measures in place.

Contacting Us

Contact us via the general Trust e-mail - Your request can then be passed onto the appropriate member of staff who will deal with your request.