The Biosphere has launched an ambitious new Nature Recovery Plan as its contribution to tackling the ecological emergency in northern Devon, aligning with the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the Prime Minister’s pledge for 30% of the UK land to be protected by 2030.

Join us and other individuals, organisations, councils and businesses across the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere in signing their Nature Recovery Declaration and commit to tackling the ecological emergency through your local actions.

To promote the launch, a special visitor to the area, Sacha Dench, Ambassador for the UN’s Convention on Migratory Species, is flying a 3000+ mile circumnavigation of the UK in a wind and green electricity powered paramotor.

On her journey, she is stopping in north Devon to officially launch the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve’s Nature Recovery Declaration and Plan. She is expected to pass through the area later this month, where she will sign the Declaration herself and speak to the Biosphere team about the importance of nature’s recovery.

Despite great efforts from many organisations, land managers and individuals across north Devon since the whole area achieved UNESCO status more than 20 years ago, with a few encouraging exceptions, nature continues to decline – a trend that began centuries ago but has accelerated since the 1960s.

Today our wildlife is a shadow of its former glory and our natural systems are ceasing to function. Iconic species like salmon, breeding lapwings, skylarks, cuckoos, house martins, many insects and wildflower species are in perilous decline – and our rivers are failing national standards.

An ambitious approach to focus everyone’s actions onto agreed priorities is needed – and that is what this plan aims to achieve.

The plan’s Vision is that by 2030, nature is recovering across northern Devon. There is more wildlife-rich habitat for us all to enjoy – covering 30% of the land area – in our fields and woods, on the coast, along our rivers and on the moors. Wildlife has the space it needs to flourish. Thriving farming and forestry are helping nature to recover right across the landscape. Communities, councils and businesses are putting nature back into our towns and villages.

Ambitious projects have helped bring back icons like beaver, pine marten, chough, white-tailed eagle and osprey. Our quality of life, the economy and our response to climate change are stronger for it. More is required, but we are proud to be playing our part in tackling the global ecological emergency.

Mike Moser, Chair of the Biosphere Nature Improvement Group said: “If we are to turn the tide for nature’s recovery, everyone in northern Devon needs to engage through their choices and actions – all of us as consumers and by helping nature to recover where we live and work, and especially farmers and land managers who can do most to help nature recover across the landscape. We can all make a difference. It’s time for urgent and transformative local action.”

To read the draft Biosphere Nature Recovery Plan, please head to the North Devon Biosphere website. They welcome your feedback on the plan (by 15 August 2021) via [email protected].

Sign the Declaration here:

Help spread the word online – visit @northdevonbiosphere on social.

For more information, please contact Andrew Bell at the North Devon Biosphere Service via [email protected].







North Devon’s Biosphere Service is a partnership organisation based in Barnstaple and hosted by Devon County Council. It is core funded by Devon County Council, North Devon Council and Torridge District Council. The service co-ordinates and delivers activities set out in the North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve Strategy and works with a wide range of local, regional, national and international partners. More information about the work of the service can be found on our technical site

North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve is the first new-style UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the UK. It exists to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature. The Biosphere in North Devon is a special place with wonderful wildlife and landscapes, and an economy and social structure still strongly linked to the environment but it is also more than that. It is a community of people working together to champion life and the environment, empower people to get involved and explore new ways of living that address local and global challenges.

Article info provided by North Devon Biosphere.