Why we need action for wetlands as part of the UK's nature recovery plan

The UK Government has today announced major new proposals to help meet its ambitions to halt the loss of nature and restore species by 2030. The announcements include proposed new targets to improve water quality and increase species abundance, and the publication of a new Nature Recovery Green Paper which proposes to overhaul how areas including some of our best wetlands are protected for nature.

These proposals follow the passing of the landmark Environment Act in November 2021 and are designed to drive action by successive governments to protect and enhance our natural world.

WWT broadly welcomes the proposals. Tom Fewins, Head of Policy & Advocacy, comments:

“Wetlands are one of the world’s most biodiverse habitats, providing homes and places to rest for many endangered species. However, they are also under pressure and in the UK we have lost 90% of our wetlands. Small wonder we face a biodiversity crisis and are one of the most nature-depleted nations on Earth.

“We welcome the UK Government’s ambition to halt and reverse the loss of our wildlife, however this must be matched by action. We rely upon many of the goods and services that wetlands provide, from drinking water to flood protection, and if we want to enjoy these in the future we need healthy, functioning wetlands.

“This means affording our most precious wetland sites - many of which are Ramsar wetland sites of international importance - the very best level of protection, with a comprehensive set of legally-based designations. It means ensuring our wetlands are managed wisely so that their resources – be it water or wildlife - are used sustainably. And perhaps most crucially, it means restoring some of what we have lost. If the Government really wants to reverse the catastrophic loss of species there is no better way than to embrace WWT’s proposals for a ‘Blue Recovery’ and support our efforts to create and restore 100,000 hectares of wetlands.”

In the coming months, WWT will be responding to the Government’s proposals, urging it to go further and faster in supporting efforts to create and restore wetlands.

To help us campaign for 100,000 hectares of wetlands in the UK, you can sign our Wetlands Can! pledge. With your support, we will campaign for change and urge the UK government to prioritise and invest in more wetlands.