Wildlife Trusts plan 12-point rewilding project
The Wildlife Trusts are in a position to bring about great change. The 46 independent charities it consists of are creating hotspots of activity in the fight against our changing climate.
The UK is home not just to forests on dry land, but beneath the sea too, in the form of kelp forests. It also hosts a range of damp environments such as peatlands, saltmarshes and woodlands which all help store phenomenal amounts of carbon.
The Wildlife Trusts have zeroed in on these natural habitats and opted to do their part to preserve them and help the UK meet its ambition to become a net-zero carbon country by 2050.
Nature can be our biggest ally in limiting global temperature rises, but we have to give it a huge helping hand. We need to cut emissions at source to fight climate change – and we can also have a big impact by restoring nature because wilder places lock-up carbon.”– Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trusts
Giving a helping hand
One of the core aims of the Wildlife Trusts’ 12 projects is to increase the UK’s capacity for carbon sequestration. As the country embraces more low-carbon ways of doing business and getting around, giving our natural environment more opportunities to absorb the carbon we produce helps mop up emissions faster and bring that net-zero future even closer.
As Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trusts explains, “Nature can be our biggest ally in limiting global temperature rises, but we have to give it a huge helping hand. We need to cut emissions at source to fight climate change – and we can also have a big impact by restoring nature because wilder places lock-up carbon.”
The kelp forest work pertains to a project off the Sussex coast which the Trusts describe as pioneering. In the Solent, meanwhile, the Trusts plan to help plant seagrass habitats, which just goes to show that we need to not only support the rewilding of grasslands to sustain wildflowers on land, but also in the waters around our coastline. Kelp forests are dubbed ‘foundational species’, meaning they are like an anchor which forms of marine life need to sustain themselves and stay safe.
The Wildlife Trusts’ ideas are dubbed ‘high-impact’ schemes aimed at mitigating the impact of global heating on land and at sea. The projects are made possible through a generous £2 million injection of funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery. The projects aren’t just all about getting green fingers, but about helping nurture the animals and other fauna that the UK is home to.
In some cases, conditions are being fostered to help revive populations of butterflies sensitive to certain temperatures, while one project aims to restore a series of broken-up wetlands, to ultimately restore a population of indigenous beavers. The 12-point plan isn’t just randomised well-intentioned projects with little planning, but a meticulously mapped out idea which sees habitats and wildlife as part of the same chain.
Habitats aren’t just places on a map which must be made to look pleasant but they’re actually homes, and by seeing them as the latter, our wildlife are given the opportunity to thrive. This is only possible so long as we keep supporting projects which aim to foster and rewild these habitats. By breathing new life into marshes, kelp forests and dry-land forests, maybe we’ll see more of the rare breeds of animals and other life which call this country home and keep a lid on the impacts of climate change.