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 Cheshire Wildlife Trust 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.
Funds raised by the 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.
In Cheshire, South Manchester and Wirral Cheshire Wildlife Trust will be running a number of projects over the next 10 years as part of the appeal. Examples include:
- Beaver reintroduction at Hatchmere Nature Reserve – Cheshire Wildlife Trust is reintroducing beavers to Cheshire after 400 years. A complex of wetland habitat within the reserve offers an exciting opportunity for this wonderful ecosystem engineer to work its magic.
- Restoring wildflower habitats across Cheshire including at our Swettenham Valley Nature Reserve to support our struggling pollinators such as the garden bumblebee.
- Creating habitat to reverse the decline of the iconic species of curlew by working with farmers and landowners around the county.
Richard Walker, MD of Iceland Foods and Patron for Cheshire Wildlife Trust says:
“We currently find ourselves in a climate and nature crisis. Conservation is no longer enough. The Wildlife Trusts across the UK have set themselves an ambitious goal to raise the £30 million needed to kickstart the process of securing at least 30% of land and sea in nature’s recovery by 2030.
“The next ten years must be a time of green recovery. We all know how important wildlife and our wild spaces have been to our wellbeing over the last few months. I am proud to be a member and Patron of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, standing together with others to bring nature back across Cheshire, South Manchester and Wirral.
“When we succeed in reaching 30 by 30, we’ll have wildlife havens across our region that store carbon and provide on-your-doorstep nature for us all. Everyone can support and help us to succeed.”
Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s 30 by 30 appeal asks people, individuals, corporates and communities to play their part in bringing nature back by donating through cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/30-30.