The South West Nature Map
Somerset Wildlife Trust has been trying out a joined-up approach to nature conservation for some time. However, the South West Nature Map has given us a comprehensive blueprint for landscape-scale work across Somerset. The Trust’s restructure in 2008 placed a much greater emphasis on Living Landscapes as the focus for our future work. In this way, we aim to make the most efficient and effective use of membership resources, and volunteer and staff effort.
You can read more about our current two major Living Landscapes projects:
Mendip Living Landscape
Brue Living Landscape
Somerset Wildlife Trust has also played a significant part in the Neroche landscape partnership scheme in the Blackdown Hills, led by the Forestry Commission.
We are currently planning two further Living Landscape ambitions, resources permitting: in the Selwood Forest area to the east of Somerset around Bruton, and an urban Living Landscape approach in Taunton.
There are over 100 Living Landscapes schemes being run by Wildlife Trusts all over the country.
County-wide work still essential
The Living Landscapes focus won’t make up all of the Trust’s conservation work in the future. A bedrock of county-wide work is essential for example, events, Biodiversity Action Plans, agri-environment schemes, and local volunteer action across the county. Not all Trust nature reserves or priorities fall within Living Landscape areas on the Nature Map, and this broader work to achieve a Living Landscape for Somerset is equally important to the future of our wildlife.
"More than the sum of its parts"
However, the Living Landscapes approach has a huge amount of potential for the Trust’s work to be ‘more than the sum of its parts’ in focused areas of the county. There’s a lot of hard work ahead, and some tremendously exciting times. We hope that you will be part of the effort to make Somerset’s Living Landscapes a reality.