Wildlife Trust calls for a wilder future for Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife today launches a new campaign to secure a wilder future for our counties

Research has demonstrated that nature plays a vital role in improving physical and mental wellbeing and yet many people are disconnected from their natural surroundings and rarely spend time in nature.   

In a speech to members in Winchester this Saturday, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive, will say: “There’s complacency here when it comes to the state of the natural environment.  Although our county looks green and pleasant, our wildlife is in freefall.  This is important – not just because of the incredible plants and animals that we are losing, but because we all depend on the natural world for our own survival and for the health of our society. We have to act now to tip the balance in favour of nature’s recovery.”

Over the past 50 years, 56% of species have declined across the UK, with 15% now at risk of disappearing altogether. 

 

Wildlife Trust calls for a wilder future for Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
Video courtesy of BBC South Today

In Hampshire there have been dramatic reductions in species such as water voles, nightingales and even common species like the large white butterfly.  This loss is being driven by intensive agriculture, climate change, development, recreation pressure and unsustainable use of natural resources. 

Debbie Tann will go on to say that: While the Wildlife 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”.

Wilder Hampshire & Isle of Wight discussion paper, Autumn 2018

A Wilder Hampshire and Isle of Wight

We're starting a debate on what a wilder Hampshire and Isle of Wight looks like, and how we can all help make it happen. Together we can tip the balance in favour of nature's recovery.

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A paper published by the Wildlife Trust sets out the changes that they would like to see:  from re-wilding large areas of land and new approaches to farming, housing and business, to wilder towns, cities and gardens.  The paper suggests that 30% of all land should support wildlife and also calls on Government to make sure that new laws set ambitious targets for nature’s recovery.

The Wildlife Trust is inviting people from across the county to have their say in what a wilder Hampshire should look like and are encouraging individuals to play their part by making space for wildlife in their own gardens, considering changes to their lifestyles that could help the environment and by asking their MP to support an ambitious new Environment Act.

Nightingale

© Amy Lewis

Nature Recovery Network illustration

An Environment Act

A new and ambitious Environment Act could help create a healthier natural world for us all. 

To do so it must set out clear principles and targets. It should have the nature recovery network at its heart and establish an effective, independent watchdog to hold governments and public bodies to account.

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Campaign

A Wilder Future

Wildlife is in trouble - but we depend on it, and we depend on us. We are at a critical time to protect nature, for now, and for the future. Together let's change the natural world for the better.

Act now

© Lianne de Mello