Our Green Future: substantial potential for Gloucestershire's wildlife and people

Thursday 11th January 2018

Great spotted woodpecker copyright Gatehouse StudioGreat spotted woodpecker copyright Gatehouse Studio

The government has today released its 25-year plan for the environment. The plan, Our Green Future, has the potential to bring substantial benefits to Gloucestershire’s wildlife and people, and is in line with work already being carried out by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

“There’s lots to celebrate in this plan for Gloucestershire, especially the focus on putting nature first and the role it plays improving people’s health and wellbeing. We know that the quality of the environment is one of the reasons people want to live and work here, but that could too easily be lost. The natural environment in our county is rich, but fragile,” says Roger Mortlock, CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

The charity, which manages 60 nature reserves around the county, also runs a number of successful projects which help young people and adults to spend more time outdoors and learn skills. Participants on its Brighter Futures initiative for example report that their health and wellbeing improves as a result of taking part. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust also stresses that for children, being able to access, play and learn in nature should be a basic right, rather than a privilege. The government’s promise of £10 million to support schools in disadvantaged areas to visit wild places recognises this.

“We welcome the recognition that, if planned in the right way, growing our economy can support nature’s recovery. It’s also good to see an ambition to boost wildlife in our farmed landscapes.

“We will continue to work hard to support the county’s wildlife. Lots of actions are proposed in the Plan but there is no underpinning legislation, so we have a clear role in making sure the government follows through on its commitments.”

Other recent major projects from the Trust include Building with Nature, a benchmark to help planners and developers create homes and spaces where people and wildlife flourish. It is also working with the Forestry Commission on the potential reintroduction of pine martens and beavers to the Forest of Dean.