Somerset Wildlife Trust is proud to have launched its new 10-year strategy - Wilder Somerset 2030 at a special online event last night, which drew ticket bookings from 500 households across the county. The plan, which comes as a result of extensive public and stakeholder consultation in 2019/20 outlines a bolder, more urgent plan for nature’s recovery. It has three interconnected goals: to allow nature to recover across the county, supported by more nature-based solutions; to build a strong and inclusive movement of people taking action for nature - Team Wilder; and to involve everyone in a county-wide monitoring system, the Somerset State of Nature, that will ensure species and the condition of their habitats are measured across the county over time.
The high calibre speaker panel, expertly chaired by naturalist, author, TV producer and Somerset Wildlife Trust President Stephen Moss, included highly regarded conservationist and Director of Rewilding Britain, Alastair Driver; naturalist, former CEO of the British Trust of Ornithology and Natural England board member, Dr Andy Clements; and Holly Purdey, co-opted SWT Trustee and Exmoor farmer applying wildlife-friendly, integrated practices on her farm - now with some firm fans after the delivery of an inspiring look at how farming has an ever important role to play in bringing nature back.
Georgia Stokes, CEO at Somerset Wildlife Trust comments, “We were absolutely delighted to have welcomed so many people to last night’s event, and for their engagement with challenging questions and passion for getting involved. Our thanks go to all the speakers who took part, each outlining different approaches to reversing declining wildlife. What inspired me the most is that all speakers recognised that a variety of approaches are needed, in fact essential. There is not one single solution to repairing our broken natural world; something we must work together to achieve. With its proven track record in nature conservation, land management, species recovery and community engagement, Somerset Wildlife Trust is well placed to support a really positive way forward for the county.
“With the climate and ecological crises becoming increasingly urgent, and the UK hosting COP26 in Glasgow this year to accelerate action on climate change, it’s vital that we can encourage and support communities, landowners and people across Somerset to take action for nature and make a difference to their local area – every action for nature adds up.
“Our strategy is ambitious, it’s different and it’s bold, but we believe that nothing less than that will bring about the changes that nature needs as it faces the most serious challenges of our times. If the energy that we felt from the event and the passion and engagement from the people contributing to the great Q&A session translates into real action, then we will have made a good start. We are really grateful for everyone’s support. Now we need everyone in Somerset to get on board for the longer journey.”
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About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlife.org
Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 20,000 members, is the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside our members and volunteers, we work year-round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1,700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous gifts in their wills. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.