Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows just over a hundred years ago. Since then, many of the UK’s wild places and the plants and animals that depend on them have been lost. For example: 97% of lowland meadows and the beautiful wildflowers, insects, mammals and birds that they supported have disappeared; 80% of our beautiful purple heathlands have vanished.
Kenneth Grahame’s Ratty – the water vole – is the UK’s most rapidly declining mammal and has been lost from 94% of places where they were once prevalent, and their range is continuing to contract. Toad is also finding that times are very tough: he has lost nearly 70% of his own kind in the last 30 years alone – and much more than that in the last century.
Together we can make the next chapter for wildlife a happier one. Join us to put nature into recovery and leave a message for your MP.
Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad
Watch our favourite characters as they begin their search for wilder future - and help us to write the next chapter for wildlife in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and across the whole UK.
It’s not too late to bring our wildlife back
Sadly, since we first met Badger, Ratty and friends in 1908, the UK has become one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world. The Wildlife Trusts have re-imagined Wind in the Willows in 2019, shedding light on some of the problems our wildlife faces every day. We’ve reached a point where our natural world is in critical condition and needs our help to put it into recovery.
It’s not too late to bring our wildlife back, but we must act now. Join the campaign and add your voice to thousands of others' to demand action from government in the form of a strong Environment Act, and get advice on what you can personally do to help nature in your area. We need the creation of a Nature Recovery Network to be enshrined in law, and you can help us make sure it happens.
"I am backing The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign to rally people to secure a ‘wilder future’ by restoring large areas of wildlife habitat, in city and country. What we create may not look exactly like the countryside that Kenneth Grahame drew such inspiration from, but our wildlife won’t mind just so long as it has the places it needs to live and thrive.
As a society we know how to put meanders back into straightened rivers and how to build bridges for wildlife. We know which wild places we should be protecting and expanding. But we need ambitious new laws to ensure we do this, laws that ensure we map out nature’s recovery."
Sir David Attenborough
President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts
A bit more about the Wilder Future Campaign
The Wilder Future campaign is about advocating for political change as well as asking people to take small ‘personal’ actions where they live to help wildlife. The idea is that these individual actions, combined with our ongoing work, add up to something much bigger across the country. And the political action creates a framework for much larger change and a shift in public opinion.
The Wildlife Trusts want to create a tipping point of 1 in 4 people taking action.
We have therefore commissioned a film – ‘Wind & the Willows: A Wild Story’, which was screened in cinemas from 28th March 2019, to reach and inspire the public to take action.
Politically, the campaign is calling for the creation of Nature Recovery Networks to better protect and join-up important places for wildlife. In England, the campaign is calling for the Government’s upcoming Environment Bill to include measures to drive the creation of these Nature Recovery Networks. Due to the devolved nature of environmental issues we are also campaigning for a separate Environment Bill in Scotland while in Wales we are asking for a Sustainable Land Management Bill.
Building a Nature Recovery Network
We are working to build a Living Landscape across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire where people and wildlife can thrive, connecting our sites together into a bigger, more joined up area and helping wildlife to move freely through the countryside without barriers. We manage nine Living Landscape projects, ranging from the Great Fen in Cambridgeshire to the North Chilterns Chalk in Bedfordshire and the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire.
To deliver this ambitious network, we work with other conservation organisations, local councils, developers, businesses, farmers, landowners, churches and more to ensure that as much land as possible is managed with wildlife in mind, to help connect our wonderful nature reserves together with the wider environment - and with the people that live amongst and alongside it.
We think big - and with your help we could think even bigger.