Focus: Communications - Site Visit -

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is a conservation charity working to restore Britain's native livestock breeds to their "rightful place in the countryside".

Earlier this month, the trust relaunched its website, describing it as "packed with masses of information and lots of exciting features to help RBST members and the general public get the most out of their visit".

Main pages

This is an attractive website that suffers from reserving too much of its content for its own paid-up members.

The homepage is attractive and professional; the trust's mission statement sits clearly next to a list of the organisation's most recent news headlines and the main menu bar, and all of this is well complemented by a prominent main image of one particular breed of livestock.

No one would argue that the conservation of rare native livestock is a mainstream issue, but the trust could still do more to attract the casual browser. Beyond the rare breeds watchlist and a page detailing the uses to which they can be put, there isn't really that much to look at.

Special features

A members-only area offers a discussion forum and an archive of the trust's quarterly magazine, The Ark. Although you can't criticise it for reserving these more interactive features for those willing to support its work through membership, it is a shame the general public does not have access to, for example, a few sample pages of the most recent magazines.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust says:

"The website is an excellent development that the public will find informative and easy to navigate. We hope our members will enjoy accessing their own area, which includes a discussion forum."

- Site Visit is by Tony Hodson.

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