Our aim is to put space for nature at the heart of our farming and planning systems; to bring nature into the places where most people live their daily lives. Read more about our ambition and you can download the full report 'Towards a Wilder Britain'.
Wildlife ought to be everywhere, not just in a few protected areas. That’s why The Wildlife Trusts work together to re-build our life support system: a Nature Recovery Network.
In addition to the environmental and public health benefits a NRN will bring, it will also help decision-makers to target investment and to identify where regulations need to be better enforced. What's more, a NRN will also help meet targets for environmental improvement and nature’s recovery and will boost integration between national and local land-based regulation, spending, investment and action - ensuring better value for public money.
New laws are needed
The first step is to establish new laws across the UK: we want a Nature Recovery Network to be established through the Westminster Environment Bill, through Area Statements and in the Sustainable Land Management Bill in Wales, and in a new Northern Ireland Environment Strategy. In Scotland we are calling for a National Ecological Network.
A functioning NRN would mean development plans and national infrastructure projects like HS2 - which currently threatens to block recovery – would instead be designed to enable restoration. The shocking decline of insect populations and pressures on species including water voles is just one reason why we need an effective NRN, to allow them recover.
Who can make a NRN happen?
Farmers, foresters and other land managers can provide more space for nature if the government focuses public payments in the right places, and ensures good regulation and sensible standards.
Developers and investors can make the best decisions for their business and wildlife if they know where development is best located and how best to build and invest for wildlife.
Public bodies (not least local government) are important convenors. They can help to ensure that decisions affecting nature are better integrated across government to maximise benefits to people and wildlife.
Regulators will regulate most effectively if they have a shared plan so they can see how their different areas of responsibility interact in practice, and how they can contribute most effectively to nature’s recovery on the ground.
All of us can help by taking action for, and providing space for, wildlife where we live and work. On their own our actions can feel isolated or small, but linked together every garden, window box, field margin, street tree and riverbank makes a difference.
A Nature Recovery Network can only work if it is spatially planned; evidence-based; locally developed and nationally connected; statutory, and our collective responsibility. To create an effective, sustainable NRN we need the laws, the tools and the people to do it.