Sir David Attenborough backs new phase of 30 by 30 action plan

Hay meadows being restored at Bowber Head in Cumbria as part of the Wildlife Trusts' 30 by 30 campaign. Photo by Stephen Trotter

Almost £8 million raised in 6 months for The Wildlife Trusts’ nature recovery campaign

Sir David Attenborough has today thrown his support behind the next stage of The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 by 30 campaign, aimed at reversing the loss of nature across the UK.

Together with supporters from the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, the Wildlife Trusts nationally have raised almost £8 million for the campaign since it was launched just six months ago. 

The 30 by 30 ambition is to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30% of land by 2030. Funds raised will buy land to provide new homes for wildlife and allow nature to thrive in increasing abundance across wilder, joined-up places. The plan is to reverse decades of steep wildlife declines and threats to the natural world.

Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“If given a chance – nature is capable of extraordinary recovery. The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign to secure 30 per cent of our land and sea for nature’s recovery by 2030 offers us the vision and level of ambition that is urgently needed to reverse the loss of nature, and so improve all our lives.

“We are facing a global extinction crisis which has implications for every one of us. It’s tempting to assume that the loss of wildlife and wild places is a problem that’s happening on the other side of the world. The truth is that the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries on the planet and the situation is getting worse.”

Today the Wildlife Trusts unveiled ten new projects across the UK, which are contributing to the drive to help nature fight back – including converting an ex-golf course into an urban oasis for bees and butterflies, turning degraded arable land into heathland, securing a future for historic wildflower meadows and rewilding a village.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough by Penny Dixie

If given a chance – nature is capable of extraordinary recovery. The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign to secure 30 per cent of our land and sea for nature’s recovery by 2030 offers us the vision and level of ambition that is urgently needed to reverse the loss of nature, and so improve all our lives.
Sir David Attenborough
President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts

The new schemes are additions to a growing list of nature recovery projects that will put new land aside for nature as well as repair and link-up existing, fragmented, wild areas to enable wildlife to move around. The aim is to bring nature everywhere, including to the places where people live.

The 30 by 30 ambition has inspired ordinary people to support individual Wildlife Trusts. Of the £8 million total raised so far, over £900,000 has been given by members of the public.

When Craig Bennett became chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts exactly a year ago, his pledge was to “get our nature back.” Since then, he has launched the 30 by 30 ambition and pioneered the concept of Wildbelt, a new designation to protect land in recovery for nature.

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trusts, said:

“The alarming decline in the abundance of wildlife and the plight of species under threat means we need to act more quickly than ever before. Just protecting the nature we have left is not enough; we need to put nature into recovery, and to do so at scale and with urgency. We need to transform nature-poor areas into new nature-rich places – and change the way we think about land, looking for opportunities to help nature outside traditional nature reserves.

“We’ve been inspired and humbled by the level of public support for our vision. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic have shown how much people need nature to be present where they live and work and not just in far-off places for visiting on special occasions. Making space of local nature is more vital than ever.” 

The Wildlife Trusts' 30 by 30 appeal asks people, communities and businesses to donate to 30 by 30.

Water vole

Mink control helps the recovery of threatened native water voles. Photo by Terry Whittaker/2020VISION.

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