Business has a major role to play in helping to achieve The Wildlife Trusts' vision of A Living Landscape and Living Seas. As landowners, partners and supporters businesses can play their part in ensure we have a healthy natural environment to pass on to the next generation.
Over 100 years ago a group of visionaries led by a businessman (and expert naturalist), Charles Rothschild, set out to protect places for wildlife and set in place the foundations for the nature conservation movement in the UK. Today those sites - moors, meadows, woods, rivers - are the cornerstones from which The Wildlife Trusts is leading the restoration of habitats and ecosystems right across the UK.
The realisation of The Wildlife Trusts’ visions of A Living Landscape and Living Seas is dependent on business once again playing a full role – as a member of their local community, as a major landowner and major user of the marine environment.
The business, societal and economic benefits are clear.
The business, societal and economic benefits are clear. The local partnerships on which the restoration of the natural environment is based can bring business closer to their communities, nurturing a greater understanding and addressing community concerns. Staff, customers and other stakeholders enjoy the mental and physical health benefits which arise from interaction with nature.
Wetlands which store and filter water; peatlands which capture and store both carbon and water; healthy insect populations which pollinate crops and control pests; and a natural environment which attracts tourists. All services provided by the natural environment to a variety of industries and sectors. Internationally there is an increasing body of evidence of the economic value of healthy, functioning ecosystems.
Here in the UK the partnerships between Wildlife Trusts and business are bearing this out. The partnership between Devon Wildlife Trust and South West Water is restoring areas of culm grassland in north Devon, saving farmers money and negating the need for capital expenditure on water treatment. The Pumlummon Project in Montgomeryshire is the first Living Landscape scheme to employ an economist to study the economic benefit of this approach.
Every business can help
The Wildlife Trusts’ visions of A Living Landscape and Living Seas provide a compelling context within which any organisation can define it’s environmental objectives and make a contribution. Every business, regardless of sector or size, can contribute by:
• Managing your own landholdings for wildlife. No matter how large or small the provision and enhancement of habitat on sites contributes to the mosaic of habitats which will allow wildlife to re-permeate the wider landscape. Exceptionally managed sites can apply for Biodiversity Benchmark certification.
• Engaging staff and customers in the natural environment and work of The Wildlife Trusts through staff and customer communications, on site representation from your local Trust or employee volunteering
• Supporting your local Wildlife Trust through Corporate Membership, sponsorship and donations.
• Influencing and challenging your suppliers, others in your sector and business partners to work towards A Living Landscape and Living Seas
In 1912 it was a businessman who had the vision for the first 100 years of nature conservation. The challenge to today’s business leaders is to play a full part in the next 100 years.