Wilder Horsham District project publishes key report to help recover the District’s wildlife

Horsham District Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust gave their final agreement last week (week commencing 9 August) to publish a key Horsham District Nature Recovery Network (NRN) report which forms the backbone of their pioneering work to create a ‘Wilder Horsham District’.

The Wilder Horsham District project, the first of its kind in the UK, was launched in November 2019 when Horsham District Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust formed a unique five-year partnership to ensure that the District’s natural habitats are enhanced and protected, and the damaging effects of climate change are reduced.

Key to this environmental work is the development of ecological networks which create wildlife corridors to allow species to move freely from place to place.

The publication of the Nature Recovery Network report marks a major milestone towards delivering the partnership’s priorities to recover the natural environment and enable landowners and community groups, residents and businesses to play a significant role as we move to a low carbon future.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust believes that this could be a huge step forward in protecting and enhancing the rich natural life of the District, supporting local authorities in their longer term aspirations for nature’s recovery.

Wilder Horsham District now has a grant award scheme – The Nature Recovery Award – available to support landowners and communities wishing to implement practical projects to expand and improve networks for wildlife across our local landscape in both urban and rural areas. The scheme facilitates projects of any size up to a maximum of £5,000.

To find out more or submit an application go to the Sussex Wildlife Trust website.

Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Roger Noel commented:

We are really pleased that the Nature Recovery Network report is now published and available to share with the general public, as it will be a key tool in promoting our natural heritage and will greatly help our conversations with landowners, community groups and parish councils as they get more involved with the project.

The report pinpoints the main wildlife assets of our District and identifies how they can be enhanced and linked together to deliver practical improvement projects.

We know it is going to be an exciting journey and look forward to working with as many of you as possible to help make it all happen.

Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust Tor Lawrence added:

To reverse the decline in nature, better and more connected habitats are needed. The publication of the Wilder Horsham District Nature Recovery Network Report is a vital step in the process of setting ambition for core areas and corridors for wildlife throughout Horsham District. This will help target the work of the team.

We’re really delighted that, despite the pandemic, the enthusiasm of landowners and communities has meant the Wilder Horsham District project has got off to a great start. We’re looking forward to developing this work over the next four years.

For more information and to view the newly published Horsham District Nature Recovery Network Report, please visit the project webpage.