The Conservation Volunteers

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The Conservation Volunteers
Registration no.261009 in England and Wales; SCO39302 in Scotland
FocusVolunteering, Environment, Health & Wellbeing, Learning & Skills.
  • Sedum House, Mallard Way, Doncaster DN4 8DB, UK
Area served
United Kingdom[1]
Key people
David Attenborough, TCV Vice President[2]
£9.6m GBP (2017/18)[3]
244 [4]
c. 10,900[3]
Formerly called
BTCV, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers[1]

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) is a British community volunteering charity focused on environmental conservation through practical tasks undertaken by volunteers. Until 1 May 2012, it traded as BTCV – British Trust for Conservation Volunteers).[1]


The Conservation Corps[edit]

In 1959 the (then) Council for Nature appointed Brigadier Armstrong to form the Conservation Corps, with the objective of involving young volunteers, over the age of 16, in practical conservation work.[5] The corp's first project was at Box Hill, Surrey,[5] where 42 volunteers cleared dogwood to encourage the growth of juniper and distinctive chalk downland flora.[6] One of the volunteers present was David Bellamy, who went on to become a Vice President of BTCV.[2][6]

By 1964 the Conservation Corps had expanded its activities to include education and amenity work in the countryside. In 1966 it moved from a basement office at Queens Gate, Kensington, to new premises at London Zoo in Regent's Park. In 1968 the first training course for volunteers was held. By 1969 membership had increased to 600, and volunteers completed around 6,000 workdays a year. The first ever international exchange visit to Czechoslovakia that year became the forerunner for the International Project Programme of today.

The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers[edit]

In 1970 the Conservation Corps started to operate under the new name of British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), with Prince Philip as Patron. In 1971 the local group affiliation scheme was launched.

  • In 1972 the Conserver magazine was launched.
  • By 1974 there were 3,000 registered volunteers and 57 groups had registered with BTCV.
  • In 1975 the BTCV Membership scheme was started
  • In 1977 BTCV set up an ecological park opposite the Tower of London as part of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations.
  • In 1984 BTCV moved its headquarters to Wallingford, Oxfordshire.


The organisation underwent a second change of identity in 2000, taking the initialism BTCV as its new name in full.[7]

  • In August 2006 BTCV moved to its present headquarters in Doncaster. The new "environmentally friendly" building features a sedum-covered roof – hence its name – Sedum House. The Scottish office is in Stirling and the Northern Ireland office in Belfast.

The Conservation Volunteers[edit]

In May 2012, BTCV rebranded under the trading name The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

At the group's annual general meeting in November 2012 the members of The Conservation Volunteers voted unanimously to change formally the name of the charity to The Conservation Volunteers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Charity framework, text from governing documents of BTCV". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b "The Conservation Volunteers – Governance". The Conservation Volunteers. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The Conservation Volunteers, registered charity no. 261009". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  4. ^ "BTCV Facts and Figures". BTCV. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Tidying up the Nature Reserves". The New Scientist. 26 February 1959. pp. 448–449.
  6. ^ a b "Bellamy celebrates 50 years of volunteering with BTCV". Third Sector. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Companies House: Company details". Companies House. Retrieved 9 July 2011.

External links[edit]