The West of England’s first Nature Improvement Area – ‘Severnside Wetlands’ was launched at the WENP Conference in March. Nature Improvement Areas are large discreet areas that take a landscape-scale approach to conservation by working with local partners to deliver a shared vision. Nature Improvement Areas must be able to deliver:
- a shared vision for the natural environment
- improved ecological connectivity
- restored wildlife habitats that can adapt to climate change
- benefits to urban areas and communities
- multiple benefits
- inspiration for people
The Severn Estuary and its adjacent land are important for nature conservation due to the range of habitats and species it supports – vast numbers of birds, fish, mammals and invertebrates are attracted to the wetlands, who thrive in the watery conditions. Across the area there exists opportunities to work with landowners, businesses and communities to initiate long term restoration of the landscape.This NIA was identified by the Iconic Wildlife & Landscapes working group, who felt the area held the most potential for delivering ecological networks on a significant scale for the benefit of people and wildlife.