We are the first generation to realise we’re destroying our planet, and the last that can do anything about it.
The river Blythe, like much of our planet has been shaped to support how we live, and this has altered our natural world and damaged the homes of the wildlife that lives there.
The river Blythe lies on the doorstep of over 2million people in Warwickshire. Rewilding it isn't just an investment, it's a commitment to a vibrant, thriving future for nature and people.
Picture this: lush riverbanks and ponds teeming with diverse wildlife, the symphony of nature echoing through the air. By rewilding the Blythe and the land that surrounds it, we’re not merely restoring ecosystems and creating climate resilience, we’re creating a haven for people to reconnect with the great outdoors in the heart of England.
This isn’t just about trees and water; it’s about taking local action to tackle global challenges. It’s about fostering a sense of wonder and joy for generations to come. Imagine beavers swimming on Coventry and Birmingham’s doorstep, rare birds like willow tits and lapwings swooping overhead, water voles plopping into the water and barn owls soaring across the land. Families enjoying a ‘Blythe Safari’, reconnecting with nature close to where they live.
Economically, this would be a game-changer. A rewilded river Blythe becomes a magnet for tourism, injecting life and prosperity into local businesses. It’s an investment in resilience, a bold step towards mitigating climate challenges, and an impassioned embrace of our responsibility to leave a legacy of natural abundance for Warwickshire.
Will you join us in supporting this Midlands WILD revival and turn this vision of thriving nature into a reality?
The story so far...
Since 2021, meticulous planning has laid the groundwork for the rewilding of 750 acres of land, a bold venture aiming to redefine the very essence of Warwickshire's landscape. We’ve already made progress with 89 acres of wetland enhanced, 4.2 kilometres of hedges restored and 1.2 kilometres of river renaturalised.
This isn't just a project; it's a pioneering leap into rewilding history, a ground breaking initiative incorporating natural flood management and showcasing the power of nature-based solutions to the climate emergency.
Success here isn't just about rejuvenating land; it's about inspiring a movement, igniting the spirit of alternative land use.
Our alliance is formidable, pulsating with diversity—universities, wildlife recording groups, local heroes, angling clubs, contractors, and spirited volunteers—all contributing to this symphony of restoration.
The landowner's long-term vision includes inviting the public to enjoy the wonders of nature; wildlife watching, camping under the stars, engaging in outdoor activities, and joining hands in the spirit of volunteering.
Your funding is the catalyst, propelling our dreams into reality by covering capital infrastructure costs, retaining skilled personnel, and setting the stage for rewilding on an epic scale
Will you join us?...not just as investors, but as architects of a legacy, where passion, purpose, and the power of nature converge to create something extraordinary.
What do we need to turn our vision into reality?
Phase 1 - Establishing the rewilding project
- £600,000 for new infrastructure needed to define the 750 acre perimeter of the rewilding area. Prepare the site by removing existing fences and start the transformation from intensive farmland to land restored for nature.
- £100,000 for diggers to undertake pond and wetland creation to help kickstart the rewilding process and help to re-establish natural processes within the rewilding area by renaturalising 7km of the River Blythe.
Phase 2 – This is our stretch target if we achieve our initial £700,000 target.
Species specific outcomes
£220,000 for targeted works to support critically endangered species in the area.
- Install 150+ nesting habitats for willow tit along river at several sites. Call surveys undertaken to monitor results. 20 Volunteers trained in techniques,
- Creation of an enclosure for a subsequent beaver reintroduction. Development of detailed plan for licensing, provision of beavers, liaising with Natural England and experts.
- 15km of riverbank will be re-naturalised and backwaters created to improve habitat for water voles. Contractors and volunteer involvement. 20 volunteers trained.
Phase 3 – Knowledge exchange, training & monitoring
£10,000 for knowledge exchange events and inspiring landowners with lessons learnt.
£20,000 for monitoring the project outcomes, species surveys, hydrology analysis, etc.
£50,000 for trainees and accreditation
- 10 knowledge exchange/training events sharing best practice on the delivery of the project including rewilding, river re-naturalisation, natural flood management, Himalayan balsam control, habitat management for willow tit and water vole, pond restoration techniques, monitoring, and digital technology in nature restoration. Arden Farm Wildlife Network involved; 30 farmers trained, specialist speakers and staff input.
- Monitoring: Citizen science monitoring programme established. Equipment, PPE and recording systems supplied for volunteers to use. Use of satellite imagery, drones and field surveys to monitor habitats as they establish, and any contra- indicator species. Staff and recorder groups involved. Biodiversity net gain score calculated.
- 2 full time trainees on the Real Living Wage. Trainees will receive accredited training in Level 2 City and Guilds Environmental Conservation diploma, for which WWT is an accredited training centre.