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Wildlife Trusts demand nature recovery networks to reverse decline

Words: Huw Morris
Nature / Shutterstock_115621966

All new developments should contribute to a ‘nature recovery network’ under the government’s new ‘net gain’ approach, according to the Wildlife Trusts.

Under government proposals for net gain, developers would be obliged to compensate and mitigate for any damaged caused to the natural world but also to measurably improve and add to it by creating additional new nature-friendly spaces.

The move aims to help wildlife to recover following the severe decline of more than half the UK’s wild species in the past 50 years.

The Wildlife Trusts is calling for the creation of local nature recovery network maps and make them a legal requirement.

“These maps will show developers and decision-makers where to avoid harm to the natural environment and where to actively contribute to its recovery by identifying the opportunities where we need to join up fragmented places which are important for wild plants and animals,” said Sue Young, head of land use planning and ecological networks.

“There’s a huge challenge ahead. Thousands of new houses are to be built yet we need to restore the natural world. We’re calling on developers to build beautiful, nature-friendly communities in the right places, creating and restoring more wild places than are destroyed or damaged by building.”

Young added that she is “very disappointed” that the net gain approach will not apply to major infrastructure projects.

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