One of the main recommendations of the Nature Recovery Report was the development of a nature recovery network in and around Bradford on Avon, with a map generated to indicate where the actions of residents and businesses could have the greatest impact in terms of enhancing biodiversity and connecting nature. Such a network would help to restore ecotones (transitional areas between biological communities) and enhance the structural diversity of habitats, help to restore and/or mimic natural disturbance and features, and enhance the ability of wildlife to disperse through the town and create larger areas of contiguous habitat.
As with most other UK towns, biodiversity in Bradford on Avon has been impacted by development. Nevertheless, our ecological surveys found areas within and around the town that still support biodiversity. Many of these are owned or managed by the council. With our ecological surveys establishing a baseline, the nature recovery report outlined how changes in management practice and specific actions to improve habitat could enhance biodiversity in these areas.
Co-creating a wilder town
A wilder, more biodiverse Bradford on Avon will benefit every resident, regardless of age or background, whether that be through cleaner air and water, enhanced health and wellbeing, or improved business opportunities. With the local council playing a guiding role, every resident – from farmers and other land managers, to small businesspeople and home owners – can contribute to the realisation of such a town.
Rewilding embraces the role of people and their cultural and economic connections to the place where they live. This means building coalitions and providing support based on respect, trust and shared values, connecting people of all backgrounds to co-create innovative ways of rewilding and deliver the best outcomes for communities and wild nature. Our Nature Recovery Report contained a wide range of recommendations to inspire the town’s stakeholders and facilitate such collaboration.