Sunday 29 November 2020

Rewilding - "Green Corridors" Plan

Farmland covers 70% of the UK, yet only Iceland and the Netherlands have smaller percentage of forest coverage than the UK does - just 13% in the UK compared to 31% in France and 33% in Germany.

If we are going to seriously address the issues of climate change and biodiversity loss, then we need to address the issue of rewilding.

Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It's about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes.

Through rewilding, wildlife's natural rhythms create wilder, more bio-diverse habitats.

To be fair there are many approaches to rewinding, and there is a debate about the best way forward, but many of those who oppose it, such as the Countryside Alliance, do so from a purely political stance rather than any science.

What is clear to most is the necessity to reset our damaged, degraded ecosystem and the opportunities rewilding offers to stitch back our broken landscape.

Meanwhile, Rewilding Britain is calling for a quarter of Britain to be returned to natural habitat as the Committee on Climate outlines the need for an increase of 32,000 hectares annually of net woodland over the next 30 years, increasing the 13 percent woodland cover to 17 per cent.

This equates to a million new hectares of woodland cover, and some 1.5 billion trees. The new Nature for Climate Fund announced in the 2020 Budget plans too invest £640 million in tree planting and peat restoration.

There may even be opportunities for a new Government plans for post Brexit support for Farming under the "public money for public goods" this could support farmers turn over 10% of their holdings to wildlife, but many farmers remain sceptical of the Government delivering on this commitment .

Wildlife corridors - reconnecting isolated areas of wild nature - creating wildlife corridors - are an effective method of enhancing biodiversity and boosting animal populations as well as offering opportunities to enhance leisure and promote tourism bringing money into local rural communities.

Already Country Standard supports have already been at the forefront of campaigns to establishment of "Green corridors"

Cambridge to the Wash via Thetford

Yorkshire Dales to North Yorkshire (Thirsk Gap)

Sudbury (Suffolk) to the Sea

North Wessex Downs to Cranbourne Chase

Witney to Abingdon

Kielder Forest to the East Coast

Dartmoor to Dawlish

We would urge all Country Standard supporters to get involved with County Wildlife Trusts and Groups and articulate the demand for local "Green corridors" to link up green pockets of nature.

The elections give us a great opportunity to develop and promote at least one "green corridor" project in every County

Country Standard - Summer 2020