Living Landscapes

Living Landscapes

Leigh Cousins

Living Landscapes is the Wildlife Trust’s approach to conservation of wildlife on a landscape scale

What is a Living Landscape?

We are working to transform the environment we live in: restoring, recreating and reconnecting wildlife-rich spaces in rural and urban areas by working in partnership with local communities, landowners, schools and businesses.

We want wildlife to thrive, to disperse and re-colonise our landscape so future generations can encounter, experience and enjoy our natural heritage, and so that we can too.

Our nature reserves provide great protection for wildlife, however species find themselves enclosed in these 'islands', surrounded by land, such as intensive farmland, which they are unable to occupy or expand into. Nature reserves on their own, are not large enough to support stable and healthy populations over long periods of time.

To address this, we have adopted the Living Landscape approach to conservation.

A living landscape is not just a big nature reserve, but a mosaic of reserves, farmland, amenity land and built-up areas managed in such a way that wildlife and people can share it and which continues to function ecologically.

In Gloucestershire we have identified three themes to direct our work and these underpin the landscape scale approach: Connections, Water and Soils.


Increasing species diversity and abundance through restoring, improving and connecting Gloucestershire’s habitats

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Zsuzsanna Bird


Creating naturally functioning waterways that provide cleaner water and reduced flood risk

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Increasing soil health; building a foundation for wildlife to thrive

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