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An International Perspective – Protecting Wild Wales

July 29, 2019
Stew Coles
The Wind & the Willows movie trailer

An International Perspective – Protecting Wild Wales

July 29th, 2019 | By Stew Coles, CPAWS-SK Manager of Operations and Programs (Southern Region) 

I think we all know efforts to curb the major declines in biodiversity, redress the imbalance of development and industry and take strides to re-imagine and protect our wild and rich ecosystems is not just a Canadian problem. 

We face many challenges as we tackle major habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss. Having just paid a visit home to my native Wales, it is plain to see that environmental organizations just like ourselves are challenging governments and individuals to act by creating programs and campaigns to address the significant and continued losses of biodiversity around the world.

One such campaign by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) is ‘Wilder Future.’ This is a campaign which is advocating for political change as well as asking people to take small ‘personal’ actions where they live to help wildlife. Politically, the campaign is calling on the governments in Wales and around the UK to take action to restore nature.

CPAWS continues to develop similar campaigns, seeking to protect urban and wild spaces, to stop the further decline of critical native grassland habitat, and to protect much larger tracts of our wild boreal forest ecosystem for many important species. We also strongly advocate for wild spaces, calling on our own municipalities, province, and the federal government to be part of the solution.  Our habitats and species may vary but the ambition and challenges are the same – to put nature into recovery and protect it. 

As part of the Wilder Future campaign and to re-imagine and shed some light on the problems facing wildlife in Wales and the UK, a rather special film was commissioned – ‘Wind & the Willows: A Wild Story.’ For those who have never heard of and fallen in love with the comings and goings of Badger, Ratty (a water vole) and Friends, this was originally a children’s novel by British author Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908, and an animated film I grew up watching. This work provides a stark and poignant look at the tipping point for our wild spaces. See the trailer below: 

I feel we can all relate to this film in some form or another. We all have a special space in nature that means so many things to us. We have all seen parts of nature disappear in the interest of economic and social development. We certainly accept that there needs to be economic prosperity, but what we do not want to see is this at the expense of biodiversity. Protecting our wild spaces provides critical benefits to our wellbeing, culture, important natural processes and the flora and fauna that so vitally depend on its abundance and connectivity to the wider environment. Maintaining wild spaces also plays a valuable role in resilience, adaptation, and the combatting of effects of climate change.

Why not allow your own imagination to go where Kenneth Grahame’s once went and re-imagine some of our most precious Saskatchewan landscapes awash with the secret lives of the creatures that call those places home? 

You can read more about WTSWW and Wilder Future here.