Severn Vision

The Severn Estuary is one of the UK’s great natural wonders and a globally important site for nature, but like many of our wonderful wetlands it needs our help.

The problem

With the largest tidal range in Europe, a vast array of wildlife, rich cultural heritage and a wild and beautiful landscape, the Severn Estuary is one of the UK’s great natural wonders and a globally important site for nature. It is also home to WWT’s Headquarters, Slimbridge, set up on the shores of the estuary by Sir Peter Scott in 1946.

While Slimbridge remains a haven for wetland wildlife, large areas of the wider estuary are degraded and there is lots of work to be done to ensure its recovery.

Today, this highly protected and unique place is at a critical juncture as a result of development pressure and climate change. It is up to us, collectively, to decide whether this magnificent estuary will be sustained, restored and supported – to benefit nature and people.

What we are doing

WWT is part of an alliance of organisations representing wildlife and landscape interests that have come together to develop a new Vision for the Severn Estuary. It is a Vision that protects and enhances the biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystem as a whole and one that will benefit us all.

We plan for it to be a more resilient estuary richer in nature, where we respect the wildlife and natural resources of the estuary and its limits and thresholds for sustainable use.

Bold leadership will be needed to take this Vision forward and many different stakeholders will need to engage with, champion, and deliver the steps needed to turn this Vision into reality.

Key achievements

  • We have collated and mapped all of the readily available information on the estuary’s natural assets and made the data freely available and easily accessible through a web-based mapping portal. We have used this evidence base to support and underpin the development of the vision itself, which we have also published on its own dedicated website.
  • Since publishing the vision, the project and its partners have been working to promote and advocate the vision and integrate its delivery into the agendas of their own organisations and other stakeholders.
  • We hope that the Vision and the evidence it is based upon will stimulate better consideration of the natural environment within planning and decision-making and act as a valuable contribution to the development of an integrated plan for the estuary as a whole.