New plans unveiled by the Wildlife Trusts mean that people will be able to experience nature in a way that they may never have done before – with large, populated areas butting up against large rewilded landscapes.
The charity’s new Strategy 2030 shows how people will be at the heart of vast nature restoration projects that will do more than just halt the decline of nature – they will reverse it.
The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and, with 41 per cent of species in decline since the 1970s plus 15 per cent of species at risk of extinction, urgent action is required to stop hedgehogs, water voles, and red squirrels disappearing forever.
The Wildlife Trusts plan to empower people to reverse the trend.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “The situation is dire and nature needs to be put in special measures – we must ramp up action as never before by triggering a decade of nature restoration.
“Conservation of the wildlife and habitats that remain is no longer enough because what we’ve got left is so fragmented and diminished.
“In the past we’ve focused on preserving habitats and species – now we need to restore the abundance of nature, and with it the ecosystem processes that’ll get nature working again.
“Despite the huge loss of wild places and wildlife that depends on them, there is hope.
“The UK has committed to protecting and managing 30 per cent of land for nature by 2030 and we’re going to be working with all national governments and local authorities to make sure this happens.”
The Wildlife Trusts have three new goals:
To put nature in recovery by making more space for it, connecting habitats on a large scale, restoring the abundance of nature and enabling ecosystems to function again;
To inspire one in four people to take action for nature by working with communities, especially young people, to rewild their neighbourhoods; and
To enable nature to help humanity so that wild places store carbon, prevent flooding, reduce soil erosion, aid pollinators and support people’s wellbeing.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “Nature needs people to act now before it’s too late and we can all be part of the effort to restore our natural world at the scale so desperately needed.
“We’ve found that people want to get involved, and The Wildlife Trusts – with staff in every part of the UK – are well placed to enable this to happen.
“It’s up to us all – businesses, landowners, schools, governments, and individuals – to heal our natural world.”
Liz Bonnin, President of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “We can succeed at putting nature into recovery if we all work together as one interconnected community.
“Our precious ecosystems – all interconnected and interdependent themselves – need to be able to do their job in maintaining the health of our planet.
“The Wildlife Trusts’ Strategy is harnessing the tremendous amount of expertise from all 46 trusts to restore our wild places, putting people at the heart of it all.
“It’s time to fall in love with our planet again, and become the responsible custodians it deserves.”
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