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How to Subscribe to our Newsletter

We publish a full colour newsletter periodically. This is in a new format and includes detailed articles of interest to all keepers based upon our original research work. We also feature articles by other expert keepers and breeders. Newsletter frequency depends on how many articles are contributed by members and does vary.

To go direct to our secure online subscription and renewal system click the button below:



Because of the high cost of processing low value cheques we now only accept new subscriptions online.  We can no longer accept postal subscriptions (existing subscribers may continue to rebew via cheque, however). We regret that high bank and postal costs have made this entirely unviable. The only alternative would have been to increase annual subscription fees considerably which we felt was not fair.

There are many tortoise and turtle societies and clubs, but Tortoise Trust is different. We have an enviable record of pioneering original research in this field, and of developing and publishing methods and information that have quite literally changed the way people keep chelonia throughout the world. From the early 1980's onwards, Tortoise Trust has led the way in the field of tortoise and turtle husbandry. Our work on diet and disease prevention, on taxonomy, and on captive breeding technologies have had a tremendous impact - and to this day we continue to actively research even better methods of husbandry. Here are just a few past examples of how Tortoise Trust has constantly advanced chelonian knowledge:

  • In the 1980's dog food and other high protein foods were routinely advised for herbivorous tortoises. We were the very first organization to thoroughly research this topic, and we published conclusive evidence that it was highly damaging.
  • Hibernation was a hit-or-miss, life or death gamble for tens of thousands of tortoises throughout Europe annually. We published and distributed, free of charge, the world's first comprehensive guide to how to manage hibernation safely. Countless tortoises' lives have been saved as a result, and to date, over 90,000 copies of this publication have been given away free to any owner who asks. Tens of thousands of other caresheets have also been distributed free to keepers throughout the world.
  • Around the same time, it became apparent that many tortoises were dying under mysterious circumstances from what appeared to be an epidemic disease. Again, we were the very first organization bring this to widespread notice, and we were the first to warn of the possibility of viral diseases in tortoises (subsequenty proven true). We were also the very first to warn against mixing different species.
  • The Tortoise Trust developed and publicised the entire concept of the now-popular 'Tortoise Table' method of indoor husbandry. The first published descriptions of this (and the first published use of the term) appeared in the 'Practical Encyclopedia of Keeping & Breeding Tortoises & Freshwater Turtles" in 1996, based upon Tortoise Trust original research. Now, the method is used worldwide.
  • The classification of the Mediterranean Testudo group was seriously inadequate. We undertook extensive museum and field research which culminated in exploding the then-accepted '4-subspecies' myth and showed that in reality diversity was far greater than anyone had previously realized. This has had important implications for conservation and captive breeding.
  • The Tortoise Trust was also the first organization to highlight the major problems in illegal collecting and exploitation of tortoises in Morocco and Tunisia.
  • The Tortoise Trust  was a founding partner in efforts to save the highly endangered Egyptian Tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni, in Egypt. We provide funding and technical support to this important program.We have worked in both Egypt and Israel, and have collaborated on and funded important studies on their natural ecology and diet, most recently in 2011, in collaboration with the Tisch Family Zoological Garden in Jerusalem.
  • Our dietary  and husbandry research has continued, and we have subsequently published original new material on how feeding fruit is damaging to arid habitat species, how to achieve perfect shell growth in hatchlings, and upon the importance of microclimates in captivity.
  • Our most recent research has been upon how climate can induce evolutionary changes in color and form within tortoise populations, and the implications of this for captive husbandry and reproduction.
  • In 2002 we launched the world's first comprehensive online education and training program for keeper's worldwide.The Tortoise Trust is pledged to continue this record of innovation and development in the years to come.
  • The Tortoise Trust's original hospital treated many sick and injured turtles and tortoises each year. You can read more about the history of hospital by clicking here.
  • We  launched highly effective campaigns against UK supermarkets such as TESCO that are involved in cruelty to turtles in China.
  • We have an on-going campaign to highlight zoos that provide inadequate care for chelonia.
  • Our rehoming program has helped find hundreds of tortoises new homes every year with experienced keepers. It has a well deserved reputation for excellence and for placing the interests of the tortoise first.  This work continues.
  • During 2007 we released new updates of several publications and highlighted the problems caused by dealers supplying tortoises with incorrect care information and unsuitable vivarium accommodation
  • In early 2008 we launched the Jill Martin Fund for Tortoise Welfare and Conservation (Registered Charity number 1123430) to support tortoise welfare and conservation programs worldwide. This is a major new initiative that we hope will make a real difference in years to come
  • In 2008 we also highlighted the dangers of hemp bedding to tortoises and also uncovered major problems with herpes-virus in imported tortoises.
  • In autumn 2008 we launched a new free E-Newsletter to alert owners to particular weather dangers during the hibernation period (severe frosts, etc.) and also released a completely free 24 page full colour care guide for Mediterranean tortoises.
  • In Spring 2009 we held a series of training workshops, and were involved in several large seizures and confiscations involving several hundred tortoises and turtles. Many required intensive veterinary care. This work continues.
  • Over the summer of 2009 we conducted the most extensive tests of vivarium systems for tortoises ever conducted and highlighted the many failings of enclosed housing. This was instrumental in getting dangerous products withdrawn from the market and in developing advice to trading standards and animal welfare officers, hopefully reducing the casualties and suffering caused to thousands of tortoises as a result of improper housing.
  • In early 2010 we relocated our main base and office to Southern Spain, which also gives us easy access to North Africa. We now have active research projects underway studying wild tortoise hibernation, diets, estivation, growth, microclimates and conservation stategies. The new data obtained will continue to allow us to provide the most accurate, up-to-date advice available by greatly improving our understanding of how these animals function in nature.
  • In November 2010 we presented breakthough research on shell deformity "pyramiding" in tortoises, a topic that has perplexed breeders for decades. We are confident that this new work clears the way to vastly improve the heath and welfare of all captive chelonia.
  • At the same time we published new research into the critical role of very high fibre diets in tortoises.
  • In 2011 we released a comprehensive update of our classic "Safer Hibernation & Your Tortoise" Guide with new sections on refrigerator hibernation and revised fasting period guidelines.
  • In 2012, we began to release some startling revelations on how heat lamps can affect health in tortoises, a subject that had been almost entirely ignored in the literature. Based upon several years research, and utilising state of the art thermographic imaging and computer analyses, we identified several areas of concern that affects every keeper of captive reptiles who employs artificial basking sources. In Spring 2012 we also published the very first recorded observations of true nocturnal behaviour in wild Testudo graeca -  the first such published observation to appear since the species was described in 1758.
  • In 2014 we continued intensive research on housing methods and began to develop a completely new approach to outdoor and indoor housing. Full details of this will be revealed shortly.

THE TORTOISE TRUST NEWSLETTER