Derbyshire Wildlife Trust appeal to re-wild a third of the county as PM commitments fall short.

The Prime Minister committed today to protecting 30 percent of the UK’s land by 2030 to support the recovery of nature.

This coincides with the Wildlife Trust’s nationwide public appeal launched this week to raise £30 million to start putting nature into recovery across at least 30% of land and sea by 2030.

But there are concerns that the government commitment falls short. By the governments own measures, 26% of the country is already protected. Most people need only look out the window or walk through their local neighbourhood to see that this is plainly untrue.

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said:

“The headline commitment from the Prime Minister to protect 30 per cent of the UK’s land for biodiversity by 2030 is very welcome – it’s a good start. But the Government seems to think there is more land currently protected for nature than is actually the case. Our National Parks and AONBs are landscape not wildlife designations, and many of these places are severely depleted of wildlife because of overgrazing, poor management or intensive agricultural practices. Our Sites of Special Scientific Interest are supposed to be protected for nature but even around half of these are in a poor state and suffering wildlife declines.”

As part of the national 30 by 30 appeal, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are calling on supporters to back a genuine nature recovery network that will see at least 30% of the county wilder by 2030.

Jo Smith, CEO for  Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said:

“The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. Here in Derbyshire, our moorlands should be richer in wildlife, there should be more wildflowers for butterflies and bees. These wilder spaces benefit us too. Restored habitats and ecosystems store carbon, mitigate against flooding and soil erosion, and create a more beautiful, healthier world to live in. With people’s help, we can make this happen.”

Our new Thornhill Carr Nature reserve is re-wilding in action

This spring, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust took on the management of this beautiful and very peaceful 30 hectare reserve near Bamford in Hope Valley which is a great example of re-wilding.

The re-wilding approach allows the land to ‘go back to nature’ so wildlife can thrive. Gorgeous grassland, glades, flowering meadows, hawthorn trees and natural regeneration of native woodland provide the perfect places for butterflies, and summer visiting birds to safely feed and raise their families and a large family of badgers roams freely.  The Trust hope to see more numbers of different species here in the coming years with even red squirrels and osprey – but need to link up with other similar areas so it doesn’t become an isolated island.  

Jo added “We need more than just our wild open places - nature needs a support network through our towns and villages too. Anyone with a garden or outdoors space can do their bit by providing homes for wildlife, gaps in fences to allow small mammals like hedgehogs to forage freely, leave a few weeds, sow flowers for bees and avoid the chemicals.”  

Funds raised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s new Thornhill Appeal will go towards nature recovery projects that will put new land aside for nature as well as repair and link-up existing, fragmented, wild areas to enable wildlife to move around. The aim is to bring nature everywhere including to the places where people live.

To help us re-wild Derbyshire you can donate to our Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Thornhill Appeal here: