We have welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s commitment to protect 30% of UK land by 2030, but warn more urgency is needed to save the county’s wildlife.

The PM’s announcement on Monday came hot on the heels of our national 30 by 30 campaign to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30% of UK land and sea by 2030.

Only 10% of UK land is currently protected and nature has suffered serious declines for decades, with 26% of UK mammals in danger of disappearing altogether.  

Our Chief Executive, Dr Gary Mantle MBE, said:

"This headline commitment from the UK Government is a welcome step forward for the people of Wiltshire and others around the UK who want to see nature not only recover from its current perilous state but thrive for generations to come.

The Government seems to think there is more land currently protected for nature than is actually the case. National Parks and AONBs are landscape, not wildlife designations, and many are severely depleted of wildlife.  Wiltshire is one of the greenest counties in the UK, with 15% recognised as valuable for wildlife, but just 8% is legally protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).   

Habitats are disappearing and once-common species such as the nightingale, turtle dove, and curlew are disappearing from our county.

To deliver the Government’s ambition to protect 30% of land by 2030 requires urgent action on the ground. That means rescuing the wildlife sites currently in decline and taking urgent action to protect and connect wild spaces.

I’d like to thank our members and supporters in helping to secure this milestone commitment from the Government, and we’ll need their continued support to ensure that the appropriate policies and funding are put in place to ensure nature’s recovery in Wiltshire and beyond."

You can find out more about the campaign at wildlifetrusts.org/30-30-30.