Image for Landowner pact in England could ‘turbo charge’ rewilding efforts

Landowner pact in England could ‘turbo charge’ rewilding efforts

Some of the nation’s largest landowners have pledged to restore peat bogs, woodlands and rivers on their estates. Despite the lack of targets or deadlines, it’s progress

Some of the nation’s largest landowners have pledged to restore peat bogs, woodlands and rivers on their estates. Despite the lack of targets or deadlines, it’s progress

Thousands of acres of England have been earmarked for rewilding after some of the country’s largest landowners committed to boosting biodiversity on their estates. 

The National Trust, National Parks England and Duchy of Cornwall are among the organisations that have agreed to create woodlands, reconnect rivers, restore peat bogs, and improve public access to nature on their land. 

The pact also commits them to shifting to renewable energy, cutting agricultural pollution and making buildings more energy-efficient.

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Other organisations signing up include the RSPB, the Soil Association, and the National Church Commissioners for England.

Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust, said: “While by no means perfect, we saw recently at COP26 what can be achieved when parties work together. Healing climate harm is something we are all united in and only by pulling together, sharing our expertise and experience will we have any chance at tackling all its effects.

“This demonstrates what can be done at ground level to tackle the climate change threat, restore nature, and ensure the future health and wellbeing of the landscapes we all love.”

Rewilding

The National Church Commissioners of England is among the organisations to have signed up. Image: Adam Rhodes

The lack of measurable targets and deadlines is an obvious flaw of the pact. How exactly landowners plan to restore habitats – and how much resources they are willing to allocate towards nature restoration – also remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the agreement was welcomed by the environmental charity Rewilding Britain.

“This is a real opportunity to turbo boost efforts to tackle the nature and climate emergencies,” a spokesperson for the organisation told Positive News. “Rewilding Britain would like to see at least five per cent of this area focus on restoring and reinstating as wide a range of natural processes, habitats and missing species as possible.”

Main image: Andy Chilton

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