Communities gather to nurture a wilder Ouse Valley
On Saturday 13 May, representatives from community and environmental groups and projects from across the lower Ouse Valley gathered at Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve to launch the Ouse Wild Network – a new place to share ideas and plans for accelerating nature recovery, increasing community access to wildlife, and boosting the local green economy.
The event brought together a wide range of interest groups from Barcombe to Newhaven and Seaford in the south, including nature conservation organisations, community groups, land owners, tourism providers, artists, food producers, event organisers, and council representatives, as well as other charities, businesses, and partnerships.
Speeding up nature recovery
Attendees focused on sharing big, bold ideas to speed up nature recovery as part of a collective vision for a wilder Ouse Valley. The event focused on five key areas:
- Landscape & habitat restoration
- The river
- Education / behaviour change
- Reintroducing extinct species
Discussions also focused on the importance of widening the group to include as many people as possible to support ‘the power of we’. Collaboration with the recently launched Ouse Valley Climate Action project – with whom many participants are affiliated – will be a priority, as will involvement in the 100-mile Weald to Waves nature corridor being created along the Ouse, Arun and Adur rivers. The new ‘Rights of River’ initiative led by Love Our Ouse was also identified as being of great importance.
Initially the Network will communicate outputs from the meeting to all interested parties, arrange a public webinar to update more people and discuss next steps, and discuss opportunities for future meetings, social gatherings and site visits.
If you would like to learn more about the Ouse Wild Network, or join it, please contact Dylan Walker at: firstname.lastname@example.org