Rewilding can increase and diversify rural and coastal jobs, while helping Britain meet its biodiversity and climate commitments, says a new report from Rewilding Britain.
As the UK prepares to host the United Nations COP26 climate change summit in November, Rewilding Britain is calling on the UK and devolved Governments to back the creation of locally driven nature-based economies across 30% of Britain by 2030.
Putting nature at the heart of a green economic recovery would benefit rural and coastal communities, which are among the most deprived in Britain while helping fix the nature and climate emergencies, says the charity.
Such a shift would include new jobs and businesses based on nature-friendly approaches and innovation, with farmers, fishers and foresters benefiting from green investment.
“Localised nature-based economies could be transformative for reversing nature loss, tackling climate breakdown, and ensuring prosperous and revitalised communities across rural and coastal areas,” said Rebecca Wrigley, Chief Executive of Rewilding Britain. “The Westminster and devolved Governments should make a bolder financial and political commitment to upscale nature’s recovery, and seize the wide-ranging benefits.”
In the new report, ‘Rewilding and the rural economy’, Rewilding Britain’s says a thriving ‘ecosystem of employment’ can be built around nature restoration.
Its analysis of 33 rewilding projects in England covering over 82,000 acres has revealed a 54% increase in full-time equivalent jobs since rewilding began. Jobs across the sites have risen from 173 to 267, and now include education, nature tourism, food and drink production, ecology and events. Volunteering opportunities on the sites have risen from 61 to 810 – a thirteenfold increase.
Written together with Conservation Capital, a specialist consultancy and investment firm focused on nature-based economic models, the report spotlights how a diverse range of nature recovery projects across Britain are already delivering social and economic benefits.
This year the Langholm Initiative charity in Dumfries and Galloway completed South Scotland’s biggest community buyout of land – acquiring 5,200 acres for £3.8 million on behalf of the local community. The subsequent creation of Tarras Valley Nature Reserve has already led to six new jobs, with detailed plans underway for community regeneration.
Read the report here
Posted on: 20 October 2021