A Nature Recovery Network

Wilder Britain

Michael Gove recently announced a review of England’s National Parks. The announcement states that the review will “focus on how designated areas can boost wildlife, support the recovery of natural habitats and connect more people with nature.”

We very much welcome the review.  Our National Parks should be our most glorious and special places, the absolute jewels in our crown, places where people fall in love with wildlife. But, depressingly, the evidence shows that most National Parks are less diverse than the rest of our countryside and in some places substantially worse.  We all know that many parts of our own National Park are devoid of wildlife.

We need to change this. Our National Parks are the obvious place to start developing a Nature Recovery Network – interconnected wild spaces which will restore wildlife, and help reverse the current decline of biodiversity. There are also huge opportunities to re-introduce species back to our National Parks – species that we have lost from our countryside. We need to make our National Parks wilder. Indeed, Michael Gove has himself talked positively about the benefits that rewilding might bring to selected areas of countryside. In an interview with Rob Yorke for Countryfile magazine he stated:  “My view is that there may be parts of the uplands that are suitable for rewilding”.  We need to see hen harriers and other birds of prey return to their natural home along with other species like pine martins, red squirrels. Maybe even beavers and golden eagles.

Golden eagle, Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography

Golden eagle, Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography 

Our National Parks face huge challenges but also huge opportunities. Brexit and the likely changes in farm subsidies could play a role by shifting payments from funding marginal agricultural practices to supporting rewilding projects and the wider range of public services and landscape benefits that a wilder landscape would provide.

The Wildlife Trusts are determined to ensure the National Parks review provides positive opportunities to ensure that wildlife in our National Parks is better protected in the future and that our parks become wilder spaces that we can all enjoy for generations to come.  Please keep an eye out for updates on how you can help ensure we achieve this.

Thanks for your continued support. Our wildlife has a more positive future because of you.

Our National Parks are the obvious place to start developing a Nature Recovery Network – interconnected wild spaces which will restore wildlife, and help reverse the current decline of biodiversity.