Jill Portrait

Jill Martin was a pioneer. She was one of the very first people to see the need for better keeper education, and for improvements in the veterinary management of sick chelonians. As a co-founder of The Tortoise Trust, she played a vital role in developing many of the husbandry and rehabilitation methods that are now commonplace and accepted as standard, such as effective nutritional management to prevent MBD, the importance of substrates and microclimates, the development of effective indoor/outdoor habitats, and techniques for nursing sick tortoises back to health. Although many do not realise it, Jill Martin was there at the beginning and inspired and developed these techniques from nothing. As a field-worker she was a bundle of energy, with an amazing and acute eye for natural history detail. She was a tireless worker for tortoises and turtles. She worked 7 days a week, and never complained. She answered thousands of phone calls and letters from worried keepers, and was always available to take in any sick or unwanted tortoise. She never turned a sick or needy animal away in all of the 30 years that I have known her. She was a wonderfully talented musician, an artist, and faithful friend and colleague.

Jill died in 2005 from cervical cancer.

Her last wish was to establish this charity to enable her work to continue and develop when she was gone.