Back in 2021, in the midst of a global biodiversity emergency and with the issue of habitat fragmentation becoming increasingly publicly recognised and urgent, a new group of farmers, landowners and conservationists came together on one of the last undeveloped stretches of coastline in Sussex.
This was one of the first steps to creating a wildlife corridor, and since then, with the scale and ambition of what we are trying to achieve, the question “where do we start?”? is one that is often asked and is never far from our minds.
All of this needs to be done sustainably, we aren’t talking about creating some romantic wilderness, we are creating a corridor that fits sustainably in a landscape that also houses a quarter of a million people. In this part of the country, we need people and nature to coexist and thrive together.
We really do have a massive task on our hands, and the challenges we have to tackle, not just the biodiversity crisis but climate change and building a sustainable rural economy, are utterly diverse.
The challenges are huge, but Weald to Waves is so exciting because we are doing this together and a landscape. With our partners and supporters, the farmers, gardeners, community groups, conservationists, businesses, schools, even engineers, that are getting involved, we really can achieve all of this.
Inevitably the phases of the project will all blur together. The roadmap shows us starting to take action for habitat creation and connectivity next year. In reality much of this is already happening without our help, and we are already working on habitat creation across the corridor (for example our newly launched Scrubland Superheroes project). Similarly, our drive to build our network of pledges and partners will always be ongoing. By the nature of the project, we will always have to be dynamic, and seize opportunities to reconnect nature wherever they appear. The roadmap will never be fixed, but shows you how the corridor might develop in the next few years.
Visit our Roadmap page for more information on our timeline for the project.