Nature has suffered serious declines for decades with 26% of UK mammals in danger of disappearing altogether and hedgehogs, red squirrels, bats, turtle doves, cuckoo, water voles and basking sharks all at risk. It is not only individual species that are threatened; the collapse in the abundance of nature also means many of our ecosystems are not functioning as they should.
Lack of wild places and fragmentation of those that remain has had a disastrous effect. Only 10% of land is protected in the UK and much of this is in poor condition. That’s why The Wildlife Trusts recently called on Government to introduce a new landscape designation for England called ‘Wildbelt.’ This would be for the purpose of putting land into nature’s recovery, such as through the creation of wildlife corridors, natural regeneration of woodland, restoration of wetlands, and rewilding.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal – to raise £30 million and kickstart the process of securing at least 30% of land and sea in nature’s recovery by 2030. We will buy land to expand and join-up our nature reserves; we’ll work with others to show how to bring wildlife back to their land, and we’re calling for nature’s recovery through a new package of policy measures including big new ideas like Wildbelt.
“The next ten years must be a time of renewal, of rewilding our lives, of green recovery. We all need nature more than ever and when we succeed in reaching 30 by 30 we’ll have wilder landscapes that store carbon and provide on-your-doorstep nature for people too. Everyone can support and help us to succeed.”
Funds raised by The Wildlife Trusts’ new 30 by 30 appeal will go towards 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.