Nature Recovery will play a key role in improving the condition and connectivity of out habitats and improving species diversity and abundance. This is important due to nature’s inherent value, as well as it ability bring to us great joy. It is also key to maintaining function and resilience in our ecological systems and the benefits for our society and economy we derive from them. In 2010 Lawton[1] in his seminal report called for bigger, better and more joined up habitats across England. This report highlighted that existing habitats were too fragmented and in poor condition to avoid biodiversity loss, support natures adaptation to climate change or meet our needs from the natural environment.  This remains the case today[2]. It is key that we restore, create and protect habitats at the landscape level.

In England a greater number of species are declining in abundance and distribution since 1970, than are increasing .  There have been some successes in increasing bird and mammal species abundance, however this has been from a low base. Insect species which are key in providing a number of benefits such as pollination and management of agricultural pests are showing major declines since the 1970’s[3]. Many of the England’s habitats are in poor condition even in protected areas. In the North of England 70% of land area within SSSI are in unfavourable condition[4]. Conservation activities means that 90% of this area are classified as improving, however there is still much work to do.  Habitat connectivity while stable in some species has also been in decline for woodland birds across the UK[5].

Credit: ©Alan Owens