Coronavirus: We have made the difficult decision to close all of our wetland centres. Please see our latest statement here.

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Wetlands

Incredible things happen when land and water mix

If rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood. As much as we need air to breathe, we need water to live. The conservation of our wetlands is essential to life on Earth.

What is a wetland?

In simple terms, wetlands are the place where land meets water. Wetlands are found across the world, ranging from giant deltas, mighty estuaries and mudflats to floodplains and peatlands that humans have relied on for hundreds of years.

Wetland habitats

Wetlands are for wildlife and people

Wetlands teem with biodiversity, providing homes for many endangered species. They are part of our natural infrastructure, providing crucial protection for people against environmental issues like flooding, drought and pollution.

Peatlands store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests, yet they’re only 3% of the world’s land surface.

Wetlands make up only 3% of the UK but are home to around 10% of all our species.

Wetlands keep our water clean. They can remove up to 60% of metals and 90% of sediment and nitrogen.

Benefits of wetlands

Wetlands are in trouble

Wetlands have been taken for granted and undervalued for centuries, as people's lives have become more removed from nature. Now, the frightening consequences are starting to catch up with us and the planet's wildlife.

35% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1970.

80% of our global wastewater is released into wetlands untreated.

Draining soils accounts for 5.5 megatonnes of UK carbon emissions per year.

Threats to wetlands