Living Landscapes

We want a living landscape, where the past diversity and abundance of wildlife have been restored to land and sea, where wild places are protected, recreated and reconnected to produce a robust and vibrant countryside, and where a rich, exciting and wild environment can be enjoyed by everyone.

The Living Landscapes approach is about creating places for people, close to where they live - bringing people to nature, but more importantly bringing nature to people.

It’s about exploiting the potential of the natural environment to deal with our problems, such as creating natural wetlands which store floodwater and provide for wildlife at the same time.

Most of all it’s about thinking big, creating a connected countryside from horizon to horizon.

To view the boundaries and find out the names or reference numbers of Local Wildlife Sites, Roadside Nature Reserves and our Living Landscape areas you can use this map. For instructions to use the map, click here.

Why it is important

Creating a Living Landscape is about making a better future for wildlife and for people.

  • We have never been in more need of the support which we all receive from the natural environment. These ‘ecosystem services’ include reducing flood risk by slowing run-off of water, improving our climate, maintaining soils, and sheltering us from extreme weather.
  • The natural environment is good for us. There is plenty of evidence that contact with the natural environment can improve mental and physical health.
  • Wildlife will not be able to survive the impact of climate change if it is confined to small isolated sites and nature reserves.
  • And, while nature reserves, SSSIs and other protected sites are working for many rare species, they have not been able to stop the decline of many once common and widespread species.

The Living Landscape work is generously supported by Arcadia


FilenameFile size
A Living Landscape for the South East - A report compiled by the South East Trusts1.37 MB
A Living Landscape for the South East - An accessible version of the South East Wildlife Trusts report375.95 KB
The Wildlife Trusts (Summary) - This report outlines a four point plan to overcome barriers and act on the opportunities for landscape-scale conservation.1.53 MB
The Wildlife Trusts (Full Report) - Also available from The Wildlife Trusts is a fifty-page full report, 'Living Landscapes', which describes the science behind landscape-scale nature conservation2.09 MB