Head for the Hills: “It is going to take every one of us to embrace nature and make changes”.

PUBLISHED: 09:07 02 November 2020

Srah Jane Chimbwandira with SWT Trustees and staff at Priest Hill where they have been digging up tarmac to return the site to nature. Image: Chris Howard

Srah Jane Chimbwandira with SWT Trustees and staff at Priest Hill where they have been digging up tarmac to return the site to nature. Image: Chris Howard

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Visit Surrey chairman and Surrey Hills Society vice president Chris Howard is encouraging us to join The Wildlife Trust’s 30 for 30 campaign

At the end of September our Prime Minister declared support for a new global campaign to dedicate 30 per cent of our land to nature by 2030.

Boris Johnson said: “We must act now to reverse the devastating biodiversity loss and prevent more species from being lost forever, following a 68 per cent decline in global wildlife populations since 1970 alone. We must now turn words into actions and use them to build momentum to agree goals and binding targets.” Many leaders around the world have made similar pledges in recent weeks.

This came at the same time as The Wildlife Trusts across our nation announced a ‘30 by 30’ campaign to encourage everyone to act to set aside 30 per cent of land in their management to wildlife recovery.

Craig Bennett, the new chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts announced that the “next ten years must be a time of renewal, of rewilding our lives, and on green recovery. The trusts plan to buy land to expand and encourage wildlife back to their land”.

He is calling for nature recovery to be supported through a package of government policy measure. This includes a concept called “Wildbelts” where landowners would be paid to set aside strips of land for nature.

Local resident of Richmond and President of The Wildlife Trust, Sir David Attenborough stated that “nature urgently needs our help to recover - and it can be done. By joining up wildlife places and creating more across the UK we would improve our lives and help nature flourish”.

READ MORE: Join the Farthing Down Trail near Coulsdon

Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, chief executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust added that “while Surrey contains beautiful countryside, the biodiversity is poor. A third of wildlife is in decline or at risk of extinction” - this includes our beloved hedgehog, dormouse and red squirrel.

However, governments and environment groups making these pledges is not enough. It is going to take every one of us to embrace nature and make changes. I have proposed to my parish council that our village sets aside 30 per cent of the land it manages over to nature.

I am part of a new environment group set up by residents in my village who really want to make a difference. I am also trying really hard to make my own garden into an oasis for nature. I’ve actually found the garden easier to manage with a ‘no dig’ strategy, which is better for water conservation and the worms in your soil. It is also cheaper because I am not buying expensive chemicals and poisons. It is also great fun, as I get to enjoy all the birds, frogs, toads and insects that are currently enjoying the garden with me.

Do contact Surrey Life by email: editor@surreylife.co.uk or by tagging is on social media @surreylife and @Surreylifemagaizne and tell us what things you are changing in your life to make 30 by 30 happen.

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