Living Landscapes

Nature conservation in Britain has traditionally focused on the protection of special sites, whether designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), set aside as nature reserves, or highlighted as locally important wildlife sites. This has been essential to slow the huge loss of wildlife across British landscape over the last century.

This approach has proved successful, at least to some extent, in defending wildlife where it remains. But it does not give us a way to restore and rebuild the natural environment in the wider countryside, to bring wildlife into our towns and cities, or to address the challenge of conserving marine wildlife.

Living Landscapes is a new way of thinking about our natural environment.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust recognises that in order to conserve our species and habitats we need to think beyond the boundaries of our nature reserves. Increasingly we see our nature reserves as 'core areas' within larger, landscape focused projects. It is crucial that biodiversity is able to move where it needs to across our landscapes.

Living Landscapes was developed by the Wildlife Trusts, the idea is that by thinking big and collaborating on a larger scale than ever before, we can improve the landscape of the UK to the benefit of wildlife and people both now and into the long term future.

In Sussex we aim to create a county where:

  • Biodiversity in both urban and rural areas is maximised and connected
  • Large scale environmental management helps people and wildlife adapt to a changing climate
  • Our living seas continue to be rich in wildlife
  • Our water and our land are managed sustainably to benefit wildlife and people

This film features Living Landscape Projects managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust and Kent Wildlife Trust including the Romney Marshes Living Landscape and the Lewes and Ouse Valley Living Landscape.