If declines in Gloucestershire’s wildlife cannot begin to be reversed by 2030 then the continued losses and species extinction will be irreversible, a conservation charity has warned.
The next eight years will be defining according to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), who have launched a new strategy to tackle the ecological and climate emergencies in the county.
Roger Mortlock, CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “Gloucestershire is a beautiful place, and it might feel as though we are surrounded by wildlife.
“Yet the truth is the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries and in Gloucestershire alone we have already lost 70 per cent of traditional orchards and only 3 per cent of wildflower-rich meadows remain.
“Time is running out, so at GWT we need to up our game to reverse wildlife declines. Alongside existing threats to our wildlife, climate change looks likely to be one of the biggest threats to nature in the years ahead – that’s what’s behind our plans to 2030.
“We’re determined to be bolder, think bigger and continue to work with others on nature’s recovery. We need to think well beyond our nature reserves and work closely with local partners, farmers and our supporters.”
The new plan focuses on three goals: Stop and reverse wildlife declines, deliver natural solutions to climate change, and encourage more people to take action for nature.
Plans include increasing the amount of land managed for wildlife in the county from 13 per cent to 30 per cent and creating a 60-mile long woodland corridor and 300 hectares of new wetland.
In total the trust wants to increase the land it manages from 1,000 to 1,700 hectares and create 10 nature recovery zones in the county, based around but also extending clusters of GWT nature reserves.
The plans to 2030 have been created in consultation with GWT’s 28,000 members over the last year and are informed by a new Nature Recovery Network – a detailed map of the county, led by the Trust, that demonstrates how wildlife declines can be reversed.