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England makes 99,000 hectares nature reserves

Words by Smiley Team

99,000 hectares of England are being turned into nature recovery projects, in an effort to support wildlife.

From the wetlands to the edges of our cities, five major projects are going ahead in England to help maintain and protect wildlife, improve public access to nature, and tackle climate change.

The five sites are based in the West Midlands, the Peak District, Cambridgeshire, Somerset and Norfolk. £2.4million will be divided between them, and they're funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England.

According to the government website, the five projects are Purple Horizons, West Midlands; Cambridge Nature Network, Cambridgeshire; Wye Valley, Peak District; Somerset Wetlands, Somerset; Wendling Beck, Norfolk. 

While the overall goal of each project remains the same – to increase carbon storage, improve habitats for wildlife, and improve public access to nature – each one has its own, region-specific, goals.

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What are the goals of the nature reserves?

Purple Horizons, which extends across 10,000 hectares, is intent on connecting heathlands to create a heathland-wetland-woodland-grassland mosaic that, according to the site, is “vital for the recovery and long-term resilience of the area’s reptiles, birds and pollinators.”

Meanwhile Cambridge Nature Network, which makes up 9,200 hectares around the city of Cambridge, aims to link the inner city to the rural countryside, giving people better access to nature.

Wye Valley, which covers 10,000 hectares of the Peak District, is taking a financial angle. They are investigating investment models to find the best way to fund more wildlife recovery habitats in the UK.

Somerset Wetlands introduces a new site of 6,140 hectares to the National Nature Reserve, and is working with landowners across 60,000 hectares to make the wetlands more sustainable, and make wildlife habitats more resilient.

Wendling Beck has come together with the Wendling Partnership to focus on “an ambitious and inspiring nature restoration project”, linking 10,000 hectares of farmland and around the Upper River Wensum.

These new projects will include new and improved public footpaths, bridleways and other amenities to help local communities enjoy the nature around them, at the same time as protecting it for future generations.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Donate to Wildlife Trusts, who are focused on protecting wildlife across the UK.

VOLUNTEER: You can support the RSPB by volunteering to help support reserves and get the next generation excited about wildlife.

SUPPORT: Give to the Marine Conservation Society to help clean up our oceans and lead to a healthier world.

GET INVOLVED: Volunteer with the Woodland Trust to help protect trees and woodlands across the UK.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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