Rewild: We want our Nature back

Declan Allison

01 March 2017

We live in one of the most ecologically depleted parts of the planet.

On average European countries have 36% of their land in trees, but where are the tress in Northern Ireland? Less than 0.1% of our landscape is ancient woodland. The Curlew in on the brink of extinction as a breeding species, and we vandalise what remains of our most precious habitats. Our water quality is a disgrace, and the body that provides our drinking water is also a serial polluter.  We call for a rewilding strategy to put nature back into our towns, cities, mountains, and countryside with ambitious targets for the restoration of nature.

Lough Neagh is our biggest shared space, and bigger than Malta. This should be the jewel in our crown yet the bird and fish populations are in serious decline and the Lough is at breaking point. We propose that Lough Neagh and Lough Beg should be designated our first Peace Park – restored to an abundance of wildlife with greenways to and from our major urban centres, and managed sustainably in the long term for both nature, fishing, and as a recreational playground for locals and tourists.