One Health Day –a nature recovery network for people, nature and wildlife

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

To mark the very first ‘One Health’ week, Dom Higgins reports on what this means for nature, people and a wilder future:

The natural world is in a critical condition. The systems and laws that should be keeping nature healthy are failing – both for wildlife and for people. As a result, everything is becoming disconnected.  

We need to put nature into recovery and the more diverse the people and organisations that add their voice to this, the better. We need to work together to re-build our life support system: a Nature Recovery Network.

A Nature Recovery Network is a joined-up map of places important for wild plants and animals, on land and at sea. It’s a map of both the places where wildlife lives now and the places where wildlife ought to be. It identifies the places we must save and the places we must restore to good health if wildlife is to thrive.

We will stop the silent disconnection of our wildlife networks that is resulting in so many of our species simply going missing across the UK.

On land, think Google street view for wildlife, but instead of street scenes for where people work, eat and live, the detail will give information about wildlife and its habitats.

At sea, Marine Plans on a regional scale will achieve joined-up working and thinking across sectors, which is currently lacking from the way we manage our seas.

These maps will be the tools that inform decision-makers on the places that simply must be protected for plants and animals because they are a haven now or because they ought to be, and so need to be restored.  It will allow us to reconnect the networks wildlife needs to recover, thrive and expand.

In return, we will see our lives enriched with cleaner air, fertile soils and sustainable fisheries. Green arteries of trees and ancient hedgerows will run through the places we live, improving our health and wellbeing with birdsong, oxygen and rustling leaves. Our seas will be abundant once again with wildlife such as basking sharks and bottle-nosed dolphins and we will have safer places to enjoy a swim.

We are calling for Nature Recovery Maps to be enshrined in law, so they will be enforceable.

We will stop the silent disconnection of our wildlife networks that is resulting in so many of our species simply going missing across the UK. We will reconnect our wildlife networks. Wildlife will return to places where it has been unable to live for generations and people will reconnect with wildlife, creating a wilder future wherever they live.

What can you do to help?

This One Health week you can speak up for wildlife. Animals, trees and plants do not have a voice, and so need our help. We've advice on how to get in touch with your MP, so that you can explain why you are worried about the future of our natural world and what they can do about it. We need to mobilise their support now, so that they pass an Environment Act to safeguard nature for future generations to come. By acting now, you will help improve people’s access to nature and the quality of the air in our towns and cities. An Act will give us and others the impetus to create new wild areas and wildlife corridors across the country, and the practical tools to stop those who harm our rivers, streams and seas.

One health, one planet – one chance for a Wilder Future  – sign up now


The UK One Health Coordination Group (UKOHCG) was created in 2017 to improve collaboration and build networks across UK veterinary, human healthcare and environmental sectors, in support of One Health objectives. Through coordinated communications and cross-promotion, the group works to identify and promote existing examples of effective One Health initiatives and projects, ensuring broad reach and impact through the dissemination of knowledge and experience. By bringing the relevant stakeholders together around the table, it provides a platform for new ideas to flourish and for new connections to be fostered.

The UKOHCG is comprised of representatives from: British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Medical Association (BMA), The Wildlife Trusts, Royal College Nursing (RCN), British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA), National Trust, Royal Society Public Health.