British Wildlife 29.5 June 2018

National Nature Reserves in crisis?

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are one of the greatest achievements of British nature conservation, but there is good reason to be concerned for their future. Funding cuts mean that site-managers often lack the resources necessary to adequately manage NNRs, while changing priorities are preventing the reserves from fulfilling their primary aim: to protect Britain’s best wildlife habitats. Peter Marren argues that the NNRs situation has reached a critical point and explains why we need to care about their future.

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are the UK’s premier wildlife sites: the very best examples of wildlife habitats, and also places where nature is supposed to come first, above all other interests. A minority of NNRs – I shall use the acronym for convenience – are also designated for geological reasons. Readers of British Wildlife will, I am sure, know plenty of NNRs, and perhaps even do voluntary work on one, bird censuses, perhaps, or butterfly transects, or scrub-bashing.

Through a naturalist’s eyes
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