Snowy hills across a lake fringed by woodland in the Canigorms

Our successes: land

Across all four countries of the UK, we’re hard at work to ensure that our land is an ideal home for nature.

We've done it!

At Montiagh’s Moss in County Antrim, NI, we’re working to ensure that the mosaic of habitats here is in the best possible condition it can be for nature, to make it favourable for butterflies, damselflies and moths. At Forsinard Flows in the Highlands of Scotland, we’re restoring vast areas of blanket bog that were planted with non-native conifers, enabling the return of peatland plants and animals including carnivorous sundew plants and rare aquatic invertebrates.

The Cairngorms Connect project, a partnership of four land managers that covers 60,000 hectares within the Cairngorms National Park, has just received a welcome funding boost – a £3.75m grant from the Endangered Landscapes Programme. The project area has a wide range of habitats and rises to 1,309m above sea level – to Ben MacDui, the second-highest summit in the UK. This habitat diversity supports over 5,000 recorded species, of which 20% are Nationally Rare or Scarce.

We couldn’t do this work without our funders, members and supporters – thank you very much for your help to make this possible.

Trees in Cairngorms

Improving Welsh woodlands

The beautiful, wildlife-rich oak woodlands of Wales, known as the Celtic Rainforests, are havens for wildlife, due to their humid conditions. Sadly, many Welsh woodlands are in poor condition. Non-native rhododendron prevents many native species from thriving, and the woodlands have suffered from insufficient management and inappropriate grazing.

The EU-LIFE funded Celtic Rainforests project aims to restore Wales’s wet and temperate forests, and improve the habitat for a variety of species, including pied flycatchers and lobarian lichens.

The restoration work will involve improving the condition of the iconic oak woodlands by tackling invasive species, and by managing levels of grazing and introducing woodland management,  all of which will be of benefit to the condition of these woodlands.

We will eradicate the invasive rhododendron and create buffer zones around the areas in which it has been present to prevent its future spread. We’ll also replace conifers with native broadleaved trees to improve conditions for wildlife.

This project will help us restore these special places and encourage people to celebrate and enjoy them.

A nuthatch perched on a mossy branch

The Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project

The Essex coastline was once a wild and wonderful place and a haven for wildlife. But about 90% of its saltmarsh has been lost in the last 400 years. The intertidal habitat that remains is now under increasing threat from rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion.

At RSPB Wallasea Island in Essex, we have transformed 670 ha of arable land into a mixture of coastal habitats – saline lagoons, saltmarsh, mudflats, grazing marsh and rough grassland. The areas of wetland have been designed to provide valuable habitat for wildlife both now and under a range of higher sea levels. It’s the largest coastal habitat creation project ever attempted in the UK. 

After 10 years of intensive work, the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project is now complete. It involved a partnership with Crossrail to bring more than three million tonnes of earth by boat from the tunnels and shafts created by Crossrail in London.

We let water into the final set of lagoons on 9 November 2018, and the wildlife is returning. Avocets, a wide variety of other wading birds, brent geese and merlins are all commonly seen here. This is just the beginning of a bright future for Wallasea.

Wooden posts partially submerged in water on Wallasea island