What is Working Conservation?
It’s common to think of nature reserves when thinking of wildlife but, in fact, the majority of our wildlife lives on farmland. In many parts of the country, nature is positively thriving thanks to the efforts of the farmers and land managers who work in the countryside, but these stunning successes often go unrecognised. We aim to change that.
If we want all those who maintain our countryside to be conservation heroes we need to share these amazing stories. We believe a new positive approach to conservation, with both people and wildlife at its heart, will motivate and inspire others for the benefit of us all.
Seven Guiding Principles of Working Conservation
1. Incorporate local community
Wildlife and communities depend on each other. The UK must honour its international agreements by embracing the views of the local communities in conservation projects.
2. Value those who manage land
Land managers have a detailed knowledge of their ground and are able to make a long-term commitment to conservation, making them ideally placed to help wildlife.
3. Motivate individuals
Conservation laws are important. They stop people from doing things. But wildlife also needs positive action by individuals on the ground who feel free and inspired to make a difference.
4. Be ready to intervene and innovate
We have fundamentally changed our countryside over time. Where we have caused an imbalance in the ecosystem we should be prepared to take action and embrace new practical solutions.
5. Appreciate complexity
National conservation goals are important, but decisions need to be made field by field and hedge by hedge. We should avoid rules that restrict the freedom to make local decisions.
6. Achieve multiple outcomes
We live on a small island with many demands on the land. For wildlife to thrive, conservation needs to incorporate the other things we need such as food, clean air and drinking water.
7. Seek common ground
To meet the great wildlife conservation challenge we must build bridges, find consensus and tap into the power of co-operation and and collaboration at local, regional, national and international levels.