Climate change summons images of giant factories or rainforests flattened in faraway lands, but here in the UK we have huge power to make a difference on our doorstep.
Biodiversity loss and climate change very much go hand in hand, and we’re busy working on a number of UK solutions that benefit both.
Our Nature Reserve and broader Chester Zoo estate are continuing to develop as a home for an assortment of habitat types. In particular, habitats that are great at storing carbon, such as woodland cover and species-rich grasslands with deep roots and healthy soil structure. On top of this, the land that we use to produce browse (shoots, twigs and leaves of trees), which we feed to many of the animals under our care is seeing more carbon-friendly agricultural techniques as we work towards browse self-sufficiency.
Peatland, one of the most valuable habitat types for the storage of carbon, also has a role to play in our newest project – the creation of the Chester Zoo Nature Recovery Corridor. We’re working with the University of Bangor to survey a large area of peat deposit identified by Natural England, planning the best possible habitat management for this to thrive in the years ahead.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been doing incredible work to restore the peat bogs of the Manchester Mosslands. To help restore that ecosystem to its fully functioning state, we’ve provided long running support through breeding of the once extinct large heath butterfly, as well as funding Joshua Styles, our close partner and plant champion whose inspiring work is leading to the rebuilding of flora communities.
Enhancing the zoo's landscape to protect UK wildlife
Plant expert and Chester Zoo partner Joshua Styles hasn’t been slowed by the turbulent year of 2020.
We’re creating a new 10 mile ‘nature recovery corridor’ to restore wetlands, traditional orchards, hedgerows, grasslands and wildflower meadows.
Nestled just a short distance from the zoo is our very own native species habitat, the nature reserve.
Dozens of large heath butterflies, carefully bred at the zoo, are returning to the North West of England – where they have been missing for 150 years.