Staffordshire Wildlife Trust appeal to save a third of the county for wildlife as PM commitments fall short

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are calling on supporters to help them put nature into recovery across 30% of the county by 2030

Today the Prime Minister committed 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.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement, however, they have concerns that this commitment falls short.   Currently the Government states that 26% of the country is already protected and set aside for wildlife, but this is sadly not the case.  Most people need only look out the window or walk through their local neighbourhood to see that this is plainly untrue.

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.
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said:

 

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

Craddocks Moss
56% of the UKs wildlife is in decline making it the one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. In Staffordshire many of our most loved species and wild places have already disappeared or are slipping away from us. Only 5% of water ways are in good condition, our ancient woodlands are few and far between and the native dormouse can only be found in woodlands in Newcastle Under Lyme. But it is not too late to act. Whilst we are pleased to hear the Prime Minister’s commitment to nature, there is still a massive hill to climb in Staffordshire. Only 8% of the county’s land is designated for nature conservation and as little as 5% of this is in good condition. We need Wildbelts, wild National Parks and wild AONBs with specific designation for wildlife. We want to see resources put in place to help wildlife flourish again across 30% of the county to aid nature’s recovery.
David Cadman, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Senior Conservation Manager said:

Craddocks Moss, Kick starting natures recovery in Staffordshire

To kick start this ambitious 30 by 30 vision, the Trust want to save Craddocks Moss, a unique lowland raised bog situated to the west of Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire. 

After years of neglect and surrounding habitat loss, this unique site for threatened wildlife is on the road to recovery.

Caddocks Moss

Already home to rare species including sphagnum moss and the four- spotted chaser dragonfly, the Trust want to attract endangered and long-absent species such as the water vole, and the insect-eating sundew plant; birds such as willow tit and curlew; the rare bog bush cricket; the whitefaced darter dragonfly; and the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly. 

Craddocks Moss

And perhaps most excitingly of all, the Trust think Craddocks Moss could be the perfect location for reintroducing beavers to the county after over 400 years of local extinction!

Purchasing Craddocks Moss will help the Trust in its aim to achieve a Nature Recovery Network across Staffordshire – a network that will improve wildlife connections, allowing species and water to move freely and find new territories.  Many wild places are fragmented and isolated across Staffordshire; the objective is to bring nature everywhere including to the places where people live. 

Beaver

Credit: Nick Upton

It’s not 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
David added

 To help us save Craddocks Moss and launch nature's recovery in Staffordshire you can donate to our Craddocks Moss Appeal here:  https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-craddocks-moss

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

·       The 30% target is for the whole UK. As Defra only has competence for England, they will work with the DAs to ensure they are able to deliver their protections in their nations.

·        The government is also committed to restore and enhance existing protected sites to improve the habitat for nature and wildlife.

·       The Prime Minister will announce he is signing the Leaders Pledge for Nature via pre-recorded video today. His remarks will be available after the event.

·       Supporting The Wildlife Trust 30by30 Campaign our ambassador quotes:

Liz Bonnin, science and natural history broadcaster and ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“We know that the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world and we’re facing the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Put plainly, our wildlife is disappearing and at an alarming rate. Some of our most-loved species are threatened. We’re talking about hedgehogs, barn owls and red squirrels – not the exotic wildlife we think of when we talk about extinction. But there is hope. The Wildlife Trusts have an audacious plan to raise £30 million to heal at least 30% of our land and sea for nature so it can recover by 2030. We can all help them make it happen.” 

Alison Steadman, actor and ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“Over the last few years, I have been in awe of young people’s concern for the planet, the school strikes and their passion for the natural world. The older generation, too, have been marching for change because they remember a time when things were different. 

“I am supporting The Wildlife Trusts’ inspiring 30 by 30 appeal because we all need nature in our lives once more. This ambitious campaign will unite people in working for a common goal that benefits us all – one of nature’s recovery. We can all do something to help wildlife thrive again – we must do this for nature, for ourselves and for future generations.”

Richard Walker, MD of Iceland and Ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“During lockdown people across the country reconnected with the natural world around them, appreciating the positive impact nature had on their health and wellbeing. Now, as we start to recover, we need to put nature at the heart of our plans. For too long we’ve taken it for granted. The Wildlife Trusts are calling on every one of us – people, businesses, local authorities and government agencies – to join them in achieving this vision. By working together we can ensure 30% of the UK land and seas are restored and protected for nature’s recovery. As a leader in the business sector, I know that it’s my responsibility to help protect nature in the communities we serve.  That’s why I’m supporting and working with The Wildlife Trusts having seen the benefits of their vital work across the country.”