We are interested to read that GWT have launched a new strategy and are rationalising their collection of reserves throughout Gloucestershire.
Their aim is to have fewer, larger reserves to create a better outcome overall for wildlife habitat in the county.
The decision will not have been easy as it will mean that the Trust stops managing some of their smaller reserves – this is likely to be unpopular with some of their members and supporters. However, the Trust has assured people that they will do everything they can to find others to take on the long-term management of those smaller reserves.
The Trust are quick to point out that this new strategy is the result of a review that has occurred over 18 months and is not about cost cutting. They are looking at the £1 million they spend on managing land for wildlife each year and where best this is spent for the benefit of the greatest area of land. They argue that this new strategy significantly increases their ability to deliver the ‘Bigger, better and more joined up’ approach, highlighted as vital to nature’s recovery by the Lawton report.
We at JPR Environmental will be interested to see where this strategy leads the Trust and will watch with interest – and we’ll leave the last word to the Trust:
This move also enables us to take on new sites and do more work with other landowners, farmers and wildlife organisations, which will expand and connect existing wildlife-rich sites within Priority Landscape Areas. By the end of 2021 we will have fewer nature reserves, but the total area of land managed for wildlife may already be slightly higher than before the estate review. This not only shifts our work to a landscape-scale, but reduces paperwork so that more time can be spent doing what matters most.