Wildlife trust says Prime Minister's land protection commitment a good start

By Barrie Hudson - 30 September 2020

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The Prime Minister's recent commitment to protect 30 percent of UK land for nature by 2030 has been welcomed by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

  • An image from the wildlife trusts' national campaign

    An image from the wildlife trusts' national campaign

However, the trust has also warned that more urgency is needed to save wildlife.
The PM’s announcement on Monday came in the wake of the 30 by 30 campaign run by wildlife trusts across the country, which aims to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30 percent of UK land and sea by 2030.  

Only 10 percent of UK land is currently protected, and trusts say nature has suffered serious declines for decades, with 26 percent of UK mammals in danger of disappearing altogether.  

WWT Chief Executive Dr Gary Mantle MBE said: “This headline commitment from the UK Government is a welcome step forward for the people of Wiltshire and others around the UK who want to see nature not only recover from its current perilous state but thrive for generations to come.    

“The Government seems to think there is more land currently protected for nature than is actually the case. National Parks and AONBs [Areas of Natural Beauty] are landscape, not wildlife designations, and many are severely depleted of wildlife. 

"Wiltshire is one of the greenest counties in the UK, with 15 percent recognised as valuable for wildlife, but just eight percent is legally protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).    

“Habitats are disappearing and once-common species such as the nightingale, turtle dove, and curlew are disappearing from our county. 

“Delivering the Government’s ambition to protect 30 percent of land by 2030 requires urgent action on the ground. That means rescuing the wildlife sites currently in decline and taking urgent action to protect and connect wild spaces.  

“I’d like to thank WWT’s members and supporters in helping to secure this milestone commitment, and we’ll need their continued support to ensure that the appropriate policies and funding are put in place to ensure nature’s recovery in Wiltshire and beyond.” 

More information about the campaign can be found at wildlifetrusts.org/30-30-30

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