Gwent Wildlife Trust is working to restore, recreate and reconnect the landscape we live in.....

What is a Living Landscape?

Nature reserves are not large enough to support stable and healthy wildlife populations over time.  Our nature reserves provide great protection for wildlife, however species find themselves enclosed in these 'islands', surrounded by land, such as intensive managed farmland, which they are unable to occupy or expand into.

We are working to transform the environment we live in: restoring, recreating and reconnecting wildlife-rich spaces by working in partnership with local communities, landowners, schools and businesses. We want wildlife to thrive, to disperse and re-colonise our landscape so future generations can continue to encounter, experience and enjoy our natural heritage.


A Living Landscape is not just a big nature reserve......

....but a mosaic of nature reserves, farmland, amenity land and built-up areas managed in such a way that wildlife and people can share it and allow it to function ecologically.

Each Living Landscape scheme consists of:

  • Core areas of high quality wildlife habitat

Often these will be protected areas, nature reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Local Wildlife Sites. These are the vital sanctuaries from which wildlife will be able to re-emerge into the wider landscape once it is restored.


  • Connections between core areas

Continuous corridors of habitat, such as river valleys or hedgerows, act as ‘wildlife highways’ allowing species to travel through areas as they disperse through the landscape. This is vital in the face of climate change.

Habitats can also be connected by a series of stepping stones, rather than a large swath of continuous habitat. Stepping stones are smaller, unconnected natural areas, pockets of protected land that act as stop-off points for wildlife on the move – for example a series of copses in open grassland.


  • Permeability across the whole landscape

Land between the core areas and connecting habitats needs be more accessible to wildlife. We can help to make small changes to the way that land is managed by working with landowners and encouraging more sensitive management so that it is easier for wildlife to move through and re-colonise the landscape.


Joining the dots

In achieving A Living Landscape we will continue to:

  • RESTORE and enhance existing wildlife-rich places

  • RECREATE vital wildlife habitats throughout Living Landscape scheme areas

  • RECONNECT habitats by creating wildlife corridors.


People and communities

A Living Landscape aims to reconnect people with the natural world and promote the benefits it provides - nature makes people happy!

We work closely with local communities to promote the wildlife on their doorstep.

Living Landscape schemes improve access to wildlife and green spaces and provide opportunities for recreation, education and hands-on volunteering.

In fact, our volunteers are often vital to the success of the schemes.


Sustainable local economies

Many Living Landscape schemes also make sustainable, low carbon contributions to the local economy by providing employment opportunities, promoting locally grown food or marketing conservation grade beef from grazing herds.


Ecosystem Services

Creating a Living Landscape will help to maintain and enhance the natural processes that provide us with essentials such as clean air and water, healthy soils, food and flood management.




FilenameFile size
A Living Landscape report 2009 update.pdf5.04 MB
TWT A Living Landscape vision FINAL2.pdf1.18 MB