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 habitats 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.
Here in Hampshire & Isle of Wight this ambitious vision for nature has sparked real excitement.
Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says:
“Since we launched our Wilder 2030 strategy just over a year ago, we’ve been bowled over by the response to our call for people to step forward and help us put nature into recovery across 30% of our two counties. With all Wildlife Trusts now forging ahead with this level of ambition across the UK, it gives me real hope for the future of our wildlife.”
Sir David Attenborough and members of the public are backing the call for 30 by 30 – The Wildlife Trusts have been humbled by the way in which the crusade has caught the popular imagination. People want change.
Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, 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.”
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts 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 call has inspired ordinary people to support individual Wildlife Trusts. Of the £8 million total raised so far, over £900,000 has been given by members of the public to a whole host of different projects across the UK. 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 for local nature is more vital than ever.”
Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust added:
“In the past year we’ve acquired new nature reserves, including Deacon Hill near Winchester and land to extend our nature reserves at Newchurch Moors as we create a Wilder Wight. We also started our first rewilding project and are making plans to restore missing species such as beaver, cirl bunting and chough. The new nature reserves were secured thanks to donations totalling more than £454,000 and generous gifts left in the Wills of three local women. This was well beyond the Trust’s targets, showing how deeply people care about this issue. Our strategy calls for a third of land and sea to be restored for nature by 2030 and for 1 in 4 people to take action for nature in their communities. Since the launch, more than a thousand people have stepped forward to join Team Wilder – and these individuals, schools, businesses and community groups have started to create a movement for change, with their actions all contributing to put nature on the road to recovery.
“To create a Wilder Hampshire and Wilder Isle of Wight, the Trust is keen to acquire new land which can be rewilded or restored, creating more space for wildlife to recover. By adding to existing nature reserves and joining up patches of habitat the Trust aims to restore whole ecosystems and create a thriving Nature Recovery Network.
“While the Trust has achieved great deal in the past few decades – creating fantastic safe havens for wildlife on our nature reserves, working with others to improve areas for wildlife and offering hundreds of thousands of opportunities for people to connect with nature – we cannot hope to turn the tide by ourselves. We need many more people on nature’s side and much, much more space for wildlife.”
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trusts’ 30 by 30 appeal asks people, communities and businesses to donate.