What we do
Here are some examples of Futurescapes projects happening right now across the UK.
We're working with farmers at Morecambe Bay in northwest England to clean up the waterways and plant more wet grassland and reedbeds. The farmers are being rewarded through funding via Higher Level Stewardship schemes. Local businesses should benefit, too, as nature tourism brings people to the area to see otters, water voles and wading birds.
It's not just farmers involved in the project. Also taking part are Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, the Forestry Commission, Cumbria Tourism, Arnside and Silverdale AONB, Butterfly Conservation and local landowners.
Crossrail's plans for a new train tunnel in London had massive benefits for wildlife. Once Crossrail had dug out the tunnel, they were left with tonnes of clay, chalk, sand and gravel. We shipped this to Wallasea Island in Essex and now we're using it to make a huge nature reserve. Over the next ten years, this 'waste' will be turned into a home for birds, otters, fish and saltwater plants such as sea lavender and samphire.
Chalk grassland packs over 40 different herbs and grasses into each square metre. England has lost the majority of this fantastic habitat. Today, half of what's left is in Wiltshire.
So we're working there with hundreds of farmers, Natural England, the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and others to keep the chalk grassland in tip top condition for insects, birds and plants. We're connecting lots of areas to make the largest network of chalk grassland in north-west Europe.
In Wessex, we're working with the Ministry of Defence to make sure that their land used for military training offers a safe haven for stone-curlews, which need all the help they can get.
We're working with water company United Utilities in the Forest of Bowland, in Lancashire. The project involves farmers and land managers, local authorities, government and conservation groups. By working together, we can influence how water catchment areas are managed and funded to protect upland habitats for locals, tourists and wildlife.
We're turning old mineral quarries across the UK into havens for wildlife and people. At Loch Leven, not far from Edinburgh, we're transforming quarries into wetlands, making homes for nature, cleaner water and better flood protection for local communities.
We are working with farmers and minerals companies to provide the increase in space required across the Fens. Linking farmers to agri-environment schemes, which reward farmers who are wildlife-friendly, is complemented by our work with the minerals industry to create wildlife habitats.
Get in touch to see how you or your business can get involved. We can suggest different ways of using your land to help secure the future of your local wildlife. Doing your bit for nature can also generate income for you – get in touch to find out how.
As part of the Bristol European Green Capital 2015 programme we are working together with Bristol 2015, Countryscapes, The National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts to bring together conservation practitioners from across Europe. During an interactive workshop in Bristol they will work through some of the key questions and challengers facing landscape-scale conservation, and establish a recipe for success moving forward. This workshop will seek clear ways of working together to deliver more in our landscapes.
The Future of Landscape-scale Conservation in Europe Workshop is generously funded by the EU Life+ through our Futurescapes Programme.
Futurescapes is funded by the EU-Life Nature programme. LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed nearly 4,000 projects, contributing approximately €2.8 billion to the protection of the environment.