In the same year that the National Health Service was founded, the summer Olympics were held in London and the first polo mints were manufactured; a group of naturalists led by the late Ted Smith, then aged 28, founded the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
Originating from a committee of the Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union (LNU) set up in 1945 to compile a list of sites of wildlife interest in the county as part of a national plan for nature conservation; it soon became clear that more than just a committee would be required. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust came into being on 2 December 1948. It was only the third such county Trust to be formed after Yorkshire (in 1946) and Norfolk (1926).
As well as preparing to launch the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, negotiations were underway for the establishment of a nature reserve at Gibraltar Point to the south of Skegness. It would be a new kind of nature reserve; one that protected wildlife but also that people were encouraged to visit.
On 10 December 1948, the newly fledged Wildlife Trust signed a landmark agreement with Lincolnshire County Council to manage Gibraltar Point. It was an auspicious start for the Trust. As the Ted Smith recalled in his memoir ‘Trustees for Nature’: