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Deadline approaches on Call for Nature Sites in South Downs

Deadline approaches on Call for Nature Sites in South Downs

The clock is counting down to the deadline on our call-out for new nature sites.

The appeal launched during the autumn and invites farmers, land managers, communities and conservation groups across the National Park to put forward possible sites where new wildlife habitat could be created.

Almost 20 expressions of interest have so far been received and there’s still time to apply before the deadline of midnight on Monday (17 January).

Claire Kerr, Countryside and Policy Manager and who is leading nature recovery, said: “We’ve received a range of expressions of interest from landowners and managers who are interested in looking at the opportunities for new wildlife habitat on their land.

“This is a pilot approach which is about identifying possible new space for nature. Proposals do not need to be worked up in detail at this stage, so we encourage anyone interested to have a look at the criteria and start a dialogue with us!”

“The Call for Nature Sites” is part of the Authority’s ambitious 10-year campaign to ReNature the South Downs.

Proposals of any size or scale will be considered and could include, for example, creating wildflower meadows, new hedgerows, more natural rivers, planting trees, creating heathland or installing dew ponds.

Village greens, road verges and allotments may also have potential.

#ReNature is a campaign that aims to raise £100m over the next 10 years to create an extra 13,000 hectares of habitat where plants and animals can thrive.

The National Park currently has 25 per cent of the land managed for nature, such as nature reserves, woods, heaths, ponds and flower-rich road verges. The additional 13,000 hectares would bring this to 33 per cent of land managed for nature – going beyond current UN-backed conservation targets of “30 per cent by 2030” (30 for 30).

So can you help? Landowners and land managers can find out more about the Call for Nature Sites and download a form to make an expression of interest by visiting www.southdowns.gov.uk/CallForNatureSites