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Why are we running the Wild Villages project?
The recent State of Nature 2016 report (produced by a consortium of 53 conservation organisations) highlighted the continuing decline in the abundance of wildlife in the UK, with one in ten species under threat of extinction and over half in decline, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. While not being location specific, the report identified grassland and heath habitat as the most strongly affected (60% of species declining), followed by coastal areas (58% of species declining); the implications for the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB are obvious.
Fortunately, the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB still remains a wildlife-rich area, as demonstrated by the number of areas subject to other protective designations and the density of nature reserves. Those include three Ramsar sites, four Special Protection Areas (SPA), four Special Areas of Conservations (SAC), three National Nature Reserves (NNR) and numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
If the area is to continue to be special, it is important that the local communities are aware and understand the value of what can be found around them, and that that is not limited to nature reserves but can also be found in their gardens, schools and open spaces.