With nature faring worse in the UK than in most other countries, and many people wanting Britain to ‘build back better’ from the coronavirus pandemic, the charity’s new Rewilding Network will aim to create a rewilding snowball effect by bringing together hundreds of people from across Britain – including landowners, farmers, land managers, community groups and local authorities – who are rewilding land or considering doing so.
Initially the Network will aim to catalyse and support the rewilding of at least 300,000 acres of land – an area the size of Greater Manchester or North York Moors National Park – plus marine areas within the next three years.
Rewilding Britain says bold action is needed to reverse the collapse in UK wildlife, which has left 56% of species in decline and 15% threatened with extinction, and to tackle climate breakdown. Red squirrels, capercaillie, and pollinating insects such as the great yellow bumblebee are among many species facing a bleak future, while returns or rebounds of species like beavers, sea eagles and pine martens are happening slowly.
“We need to hit the reset button for our relationship with the natural world, and rebuild our lives and economies in ways that keep nature and us healthy,” said Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain’s Chief Executive. “Our Rewilding Network will help propel rewilding to a whole new level – so we can all begin to enjoy a Britain rich in wildlife again, with healthy living systems soaking up millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, and our lives enriched by wild nature and strong resilient communities, regenerative farms and nature-friendly businesses.”