Nature is in a critical condition. 

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When we re-imagined the classic tale 'The Wind in the Willows' for the 21st century, it became clear that it's not a happy story. But it doesn’t have to be like this.  As our narrator, Sir David Attenborough, has said: "nature is capable of extraordinary recovery". We just need to give it a chance. 

Connectivity is part of the solution 

There are various laws to protect nature but there are no laws that support putting nature back.  

One way to halt the devastating decline in wild places and healthy wildlife populations is through a Nature Recovery Network. We want 30% of land and sea in the UK to be connected and protected for nature’s recovery, bringing wildlife back into everybody’s lives.  

Imagine a joined-up system of places important for wild plants and animals on land and at sea, which extends across the country including in rural areas, coastal sites, cities and towns. Something that allows plants, animals, seeds, nutrients and water to move from place to place and which enables the natural world to adapt to change. That provides plants and animals with places to live, to feed and to breed, across different landscapes. Combining existing areas with lots of wildlife, with the places where new habitats need to be created, in order to expand existing habitat fragments. Connecting all these up will mean that nature can be more resilient in the future. 

A Nature Recovery Network (NRN) will allow nature to recuperate and thrive once more.

A NRN can be established by mapping out important places where wildlife currently thrives and where wildlife needs to be protected, and highlighting the spaces where more habitat could be created as well as key areas where habitats should be restored. 

But it all starts with legislation. 

Let's put nature into recovery

You can help us give wild spaces and wildlife  the "happy ever after" they deserve...  Join thousands of others and show your support for a Nature Recovery - simply complete the form. 

To read more about how a NRN and why this is important, click in the box below. 

Why is this important? > read more

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.

Please show your support for new laws that will give nature the chance to recover

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Nature scene in silhouette