Wildlife Trusts unveil new schemes to help tackle climate crisis

Beavers have already been reintroduced in parts of Essex

A raft of new projects that store carbon and restore habitats have been unveiled by the Wildlife Trusts as part of efforts to tackle the climate and nature crises.

The 12 schemes include improving fragmented wetlands across four counties in England and Wales to pave the way for reintroducing beavers, restoring peatland in five counties and expanding saltmarsh along the Essex coast.

Beavers have already been successfully reintroduced at the Spains Hall Estate in Finchingfield in Essex.

The schemes by the coalition of 46 nature charities employ "nature based solutions", using landscapes and habitats to tackle climate emissions and impacts at the same time as helping to reverse declines in the natural world.

The schemes are not only land based - they'll help conserve undersea habitats too Credit: Wildlife Trusts

They also include helping protect temperature-sensitive chalk grassland butterflies, and supporting a pioneering project to restore a kelp forest off the coast of Suffolk.

The Wildlife Trusts said the projects will help the UK to cut its emissions to "net zero", cutting emissions to as near to zero as possible and offsetting any remaining pollution with measures to absorb carbon.

The schemes are able to move forward thanks to nearly £2 million raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery, the trusts said.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said nature could become a major ally in limiting global temperature rises, but we had to give it a huge helping hand.

The projects unveiled in our region are:

  • A first-of-its-kind project by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust to create features within chalk grassland to provide suitable niches for temperature-sensitive butterflies including small blue, chalkhill blue and rare Duke of Burgundy as the climate changes.

  • Essex Wildlife Trust is scaling up techniques to restore and protect the UK'ssaltmarshes, which can reduce flood risks and the effects of storm surges and act as a huge carbon sink.