Living Landscapes

Pumlumon landscape

“Living Landscapes” is one of the most ambitious conservation plans in British history.

‘Living Landscapes’ is The Wildlife Trusts’ vision for our collective future. It is a future where wildlife thrives across Wales- in farmland, woodland, wetland, and even our towns and cities.

It is a place where the landscape allows wildlife to move in response to changing conditions and where everyone has access to wild places and the opportunity to enjoy their local wildlife.

Cliffs near Ogmore by Lizzie Wilberforce

Cliffs near Ogmore by Lizzie Wilberforce

The Wildlife Trusts reach their centenary in 2012, and The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has been active for around 75 years in west Wales and over 50 years in Glamorgan. In this time, much of our work has focused on the acquisition and management of nature reserves. Read more about the history of the movement and our conservation priorities.

However, outside these nature reserves, wildlife continued to decline. For this reason, if we hope to achieve our vision of Living Landscapes, we have to think outside the boundaries of our nature reserves.

We have to take bold steps to restore, reconnect and recreate our landscape, in order to protect our wildlife- most importantly, for its inherent value and our moral duty to protect it, but also because the health and well-being of the environment is what secures the future of our own health and well-being as well.

Ystwyth valley by Lizzie Wilberforce

Ystwyth valley by Lizzie Wilberforce

What we know for certain is that our current system isn’t working. So, to address this, The Wildlife Trusts have set up a seven stage approach to changing that. At WTSWW we are in the process of developing our own approach to delivering Living Landscapes in South West Wales. We are already active in the landscape-scale Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project and are currently developing a project around the Cardigan area.

Our work doesn’t stop at the shoreline. The Wildlife Trusts also have a vision for Living Seas, where wildlife thrives from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.

  • Limpets at Frenchman’s Steps, Pembrokeshire Limpets at Frenchman’s Steps, PembrokeshireJohn Archer-Thomson was studying limpets in Pembrokeshire before the Sea Empress grounded in 1996. Here he tells the story of his work on the coastal ecology before and since the disaster, and the wider impacts of man’s activities on the two seashore species. I have been studying the population of limpets on a rocky shore called ...
  • Our conservation story Our conservation storyThe conservation pioneers By the 1960s, in response to the widespread devastation of our natural habitats, Wildlife Trusts had been formed across the length and breadth of the UK. Ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows, lakes, mosses, moors, islands, estuaries and beaches were all rescued in an urgent drive to save our natural heritage for future generations. Our founders successfully pressed for laws to ...
  • Recent declines Recent declinesWhilst we have seen some great success stories in Wales- the acquisition and management of new nature reserves and designated areas, the recovery of the otter- all is not well and many species and habitats continue to decline. Outside our protected areas, habitats have been lost on an unprecedented scale. Across Britain, 97% of our wildflower meadows ...
  • Securing our own future Securing our own futureNature isn’t a luxury: our environment underpins the economy. All species and their habitats have inherent value, and The Wildlife Trusts will always work to protect them and inspire others to do the same. However a thriving and functioning environment is also what helps us to survive. With the country facing unprecedented economic uncertainty and pressures for energy generation, ...
  • Our current failures Our current failuresWe need a new vision because our current system isn’t working for wildlife. Within WTSWW and in all other Wildlife Trusts we work with local communities and aim to inspire people about the natural world. We work with community groups, local authorities, landowners of all kinds and local developers and consultants and find a great deal of ...
  • Our seven stage approach Our seven stage approachWe believe that there are seven key steps towards protecting our wildlife for the future, and The Wildlife Trusts across the UK are working towards these. They are: 1. Setting out a new vision. An ambitious vision is needed for the restoration and recovery of the natural environment, and the systems that underpin it. 2. Valuing nature’s cathedrals. The sites ...