Five landmark nature recovery projects launched to protect wildlife and improve public access to nature - Natural England

Over 99,000 hectares of England to be dedicated to supporting wildlife and nature for people to enjoy

Five unique nature recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000 hectares will transform the public’s enjoyment of nature in the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset, the government and Natural England announced today (Thursday 26 May).

These multi-partnership projects will see newly created and restored wildlife-rich habitats, corridors and stepping-stones which will help wildlife populations to move and thrive across town and countryside.

They will improve the landscape’s resilience to climate change, providing natural solutions to reduce carbon and manage flood risk. Equivalent in size to all 219 current National Nature Reserves they will also allow more people to enjoy and connect with nature on their doorstep.

The Purple Horizons project in Walsall in the West Midlands alone will enable over 500,000 people to reconnect with nature close to where they live, in one of England’s most socially deprived areas.

All five projects will also make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and sea by 2030, and will help to achieve the Environment Act’s legally binding target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "These five projects across England are superb examples of exciting, large-scale restoration that is critically needed to bring about a step change in the recovery of nature in this country. They will significantly contribute to achieving our target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030 and our commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030, enabling us to leave the environment in a better state than we found it."

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “Nature recovery can only occur if we take action at scale, and that can only work through partnerships. These five landmark projects will seek to recover species and habitats through collaboration among a wide range of land owners and organisations, delivering benefits for wildlife, local economies, adaptation to climate change and for public wellbeing. Looking after and recovering the health of the natural world upon which we all depend is at the heart of Natural England’s work, including through the development of the Nature Recovery Network that is such an important part of the Government’s environmental ambition. I am delighted we are taking this step today, driving practical action on what is one of the most urgent challenges of modern times.”

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Posted On: 26/05/2022

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