Nature Recovery Networks

What is a Nature Recovery Network?

A Nature Recovery Network is a joined-up network of existing and new habitats that allow wildlife and people to thrive in housing estates, on farms, in nature reserves, along road verges and riverbanks, in parks and gardens, on office roofs and in the hills.

The Wildlife Trusts believe that a Nature Recovery Network must be included in new environmental laws to better protect existing wildlife sites on land and at sea, create more space for wildlife and link wildlife habitats.

Why do we need a Nature Recovery Network?

Our current laws and systems are failing wildlife. They were introduced separately over many decades and were never designed to achieve nature's recovery (just protect what's left). A Nature Recovery Network allows for integrated and complimentary long-term decision making across government and society (e.g. local authorities, charities etc), meaning money is better spent and invested.

Our wildlife is in crisis. We live in one of the most wildlife-depleted countries in the world. To achieve nature's recovery we know we need 'more, bigger, better and joined up' wildlife habitats. A Nature Recovery Map helps to deliver this.

Our mental health is in crisis. Currently, those living in the most deprived areas are 10x less likely to live in green neighbourhoods. Not being able to access nature has been shown to be related to poor mental health and wellbeing. A Nature Recovery Network helps reconnect our lives with nature.

How does it work and what does it deliver?

A National Nature Recovery Network map sets a shared and connected vision for nature's recovery - allowing us to improve our air, soil and water quality, reduce pollution and bring our wildlife back on land and at sea. It also helps to reconnect people to nature.

The national map would be created from a series of local Nature Recovery Network maps that interlink across land and sea, town and countryside, local authority and national boundary, much like the natural world itself. These maps will identify the location and extent of priority areas to protect, make better and create new wild places. 

Done right, a National Nature Recovery Network will:

  • Deliver nature's recovery by better protecting existing wildlife sites (on land and at sea), creating more space for wildlife (whether rural or urban) and link wildlife habitat
  • Improve physical and mental health by providing more equal access to nature through positive planning of greenspace in the areas we live, helping to reduce health inequalities
  • Give confidence to businesses investing in long term environmental gain - allowing them to work out where and how best to invest their money
  • Provide value for money by aligning funds from different sectors that are paid for delivering environmental improvements e.g. Environment Land Management payments to land managers from the Government and contributions from housing developers.