Almost £8 million raised for The Wildlife Trusts’ nature recovery plans

Wednesday 07 April, 2021

The Wildlife Trusts have raised almost £8 million just six months after launching their 30 by 30 ambition to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30% of land by 2030. Funds 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.

NWT’s Thompson Common Appeal has received more than 1,600 donations, large and small, to help us get close to reaching our target: we need just £25,000 more towards our £625,625 total before May.

Today The Wildlife Trusts unveil ten new projects 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 and restoring ancient ponds (pingos) in an area home to 28% of the UK’s rarest species.

Sir David Attenborough is backing the call for 30 by 30. He says:  

“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.”

The Wildlife Trusts’ new projects 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 – some of these are still fundraising. The aim is to bring nature everywhere Including to the places where people live. The new schemes include:
  1. Recreating ice-age “ghost ponds” and expanding species rich grassland across 140 acres, Norfolk 
  2. Transforming 42-acre ex-golf course in Carlisle into an urban bee and butterfly oasis
  3. Restoring 95 acres arable fields back to heathland for nature in Worcestershire
  4. Quadrupling a nature reserve to help the rare marsh fritillary butterfly, Wiltshire
  5. Breathing life into 20 urban nature areas to benefit people and wildlife, Tyne & Wear
  6. Piloting eco-friendly ‘Naturehoods’ by creating habitats in Lincolnshire communities 
  7. Securing a future for 14 acres of rare wildflower meadows in Herefordshire
  8. Improving 30 acres historic northern hay meadows for wildflowers in Cumbria
  9. Buying 12 fabulous acres of unsprayed fields for yellow mountain pansy, Shropshire
  10. Managing traditional Rhos pasture for butterfly conservation, Radnorshire
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 says: 
“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.”  

Please support our appeal if you can and help us create a bigger, better Brecks for wildlife.
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