A Living Landscape (c) Wendy Carter
We have identified seven priority areas in Worcestershire for our Living Landscapes approach, and have chosen to focus on a section of the Avon Vale to begin with. Currently we are prioritising work in the Bow Brook Catchment, which is part of the Forest of Feckenham Living Landscape.
Projects in these areas contribute to the delivery of all of the key elements in Living Landscapes identified in the Trust’s Development Strategy.
The protection of places for wildlife is the founding principle of The Wildlife Trusts
WWT Development Strategy 2012-2017
Wildlife needs space to adapt and move to cope with the consequences of climate change. Practically, this means that to deliver on our biodiversity vision, we need to develop a coherent network of large areas linked by corridors that can provide benefits for people as well as for biodiversity.
Our plan identifies seven landscape areas in Worcestershire (we call them “Living Landscape Areas”) where the Trust can really make a difference and where it will focus its work and resources. The Trust will take a leadership role in promoting and actively delivering landscape-scale conservation and the benefits it can bring.
Even though the Trust looks after over a thousand hectares of nature reserves we recognise that most of the landscape of Worcestershire is in the stewardship of private landowners or public bodies. We want to work with landowners and with those agencies, which are responsible for the policies that determine how land is used.
In order to practice what we preach we will use our reserves to apply and demonstrate best practice through “flagships” where we will work with other landowners to develop innovative approaches that can benefit both wildlife and the local economy.
We recognise that everyone who lives and works in Worcestershire has a stake in the county's environment and wildlife and we shall build on our successful education programmes through new initiatives to actively involve local people in their local environment.
The state of our environment
We are active partners in the State of the Environment Group for Worcestershire. The group tracks trends in environmental change and is a part of the wider Worcestershire Partnership Environment Group. To learn more about the state of the environment in Worcestershire please have a look at the most recent State of the Environment Group report.
The Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership
The Trust is actively involved with the Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership, which brings together a diverse range of bodies and orgainastions with a view to promoting and delivering biodiversity enhancement in the county. You can find out more at the BAP website.
As part of our landscape-scale approach to nature conservation we are working with other Trusts on assessing the economic value of a range of services provided by the environment. Examples of these so-called ecosystem services can include flood defence benefits from wetland creation, cooling of the urban heat island effect by vegetation, aesthetic and health benefits and the like. Much of this work is underpinned by the National Ecosystem Assessment, details of which can be found on the NEA website.
We recently commissioned work to determine the economic value of one of our reserves, the results of which can be read in our recently published report on the economic value of Gwen Finch Wetland Reserve.