Our vision for a Wilder Essex

Wilder Essex

Essex Wildlife Trust is working towards creating a Wilder Essex

We have entered the most vital decade for nature. We are dependent on the natural world in every aspect of our lives. The air that we breathe. The water we drink. The food we eat. Our physical and mental health. We need nature and we need wildlife.

Nature needs our help

Nature needs our help

There is now an urgent need to tackle the climate emergency; restore damaged habitats, connect our protected areas to the rest of the landscape, and lobby for legislation that places natural heritage at the forefront of policies and forward planning.

We all have a role to play in protecting what’s important to us.

Action starts close to home

Action starts close to home

In order to stop the deterioration of our natural world in its tracks, we need to think globally while acting locally.

We need to create a Wilder Essex. One where wildlife is thriving, every person has access to nature and our habitats are all connected. Essex should be a safe haven for wildlife and an example to which other counties can aspire.

Essex's conservation charity

Essex's conservation charity

Essex Wildlife Trust has brought back species on the brink of extinction before and transformed damaged and degraded habitats into havens for wildlife. Creating a Wilder Essex isn’t just a vision, we know it’s possible.

The Trust is backed by a dedicated team of volunteers and members and for over 60 years has been tackling environmental challenges covering land, rivers and sea.

Havens for nature

Havens for nature

From ancient woodlands offering a green lung in Southend-on-Sea, to the last place in the county where all three species of heather grow together. Areas of significant natural heritage are protected for perpetuity.

But previously discarded areas have also been brought back to life. The song of the nightingale rings out at the old gravel works at Fingringhoe, while the former landfill site at Thameside is now littered with rare invertebrates and reptiles.

Connecting our landscape

Connecting our landscape

Nature reserves can be a lifeline for species, yet our sites only encompass 2.3% of the total land in Essex. At the moment, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle with vital pieces missing.

From rivers to road verges, hedgerows to ponds and gardens to city parks, we need to restore our landscape and connect up the wild places. Creating these corridors will not only help bring wildlife back, it will help it become more resilient in the face of climate change.

Wilder Lives

Wilder lives

A Nature Recovery Network is not only about connecting our habitats for wildlife, but connecting people with wildlife and green spaces once again.

Essex should have boundless opportunities for children to learn outdoors in a natural environment, a place to be independent and confident, a place to be playful and curious, a place to inspire a lifelong love of nature.

It’s never too late to learn about its wonders or re-discover your love of the great outdoors. We need to see people of all ages and backgrounds engage with the natural world at every stage of their life.

Creating wilder towns and villages

Creating wilder towns and villages

Over time Essex will become more developed, but this can’t happen in isolation from the natural world. Urban green spaces rich in wildlife are proven to boost our immune systems and people need to have access to this social prescription tool, wherever they live. Connectivity and sustainability must be embedded in the planning process.

No matter the size of the area, we need to be making our gardens, our green spaces and our towns and cities wilder.

The rivers

The rivers running through us

Water is a lifeline for all species and our rivers are at the heart of our local communities. The gentle trickling of a local stream to the mighty Thames Estuary, Essex’s network of rivers flows through our county like arteries and veins. 

Flooding will become an increased risk, while unseen problems including blocked fish passages and chemical and physical pollution increasingly challenge our network of rivers.

We need to adjust land management practices and consider the impact of our individual purchases on the environment, to keep our rivers rumbling with life.

Help us create a Wilder Essex

There’s a lot that needs to happen but we are ambitious for our county’s future. Everyone in Essex needs to play their part in creating this change for our county, for our wildlife, our wellbeing and our future.

Will you join the effort?

Thank you to all of Essex Wildlife Trust’s supporters, partners and everyone taking action to create a Wilder Essex.