Somerset Wildlife Trust is proud to have launched its new 10-year strategy – Wilder Somerset 2030 at a special online event, 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, Somerset Wildlife Trust comments, “We were absolutely delighted to have welcomed so many people to the 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.”
You can read the strategy in full and watch the entire event here: