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'Map of Dreams' shows wild ambitions for East Anglia's nature

The wild ambitions of a new East Anglian nature movement have been visualised on an interactive "Map of Dreams" - aiming to inspire a regional culture change in wildlife recovery.
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The WildEast 'Map of Dreams' illustrates the nature recovery ambitions of people across East Anglia

WildEast, which was founded last year with the 50-year goal of returning 20% of East Anglia to nature, has launched the map to incentivise and track projects that encourage ecological regeneration.

It is a live representation of the pledges already made, ranging from farms and landowners to a vicar, a special needs school, and a village community.

And it is hoped that the Map of Dreams will inspire others from all sectors of society to contribute 20% of their landscape to nature, bringing WildEast closer to its target of 1,000 pledges by the end of 2021.

The trustees of WildEast said: "The WildEast Map of Dreams is an expression of our collective will to take responsibility - our shared responsibility to restore nature into our lives and to share and celebrate doing so.

"Everyone is complicit in the destruction of the natural world. We must all become climate warriors now to avert climate catastrophe.

"The Map of Dreams is a place to record what Sir David Attenborough called ‘your witness statement to a life on earth’ and in so doing inspire others to play their part. 

"This is our final chance to reset our relationship with planet Earth. It’s now or never to come together to save nature."

Every pledge made is featured on the map, along with snapshot information about the project.

Pledges so far include:

  • A nature recovery expert who has returned 80% of his garden back to nature
  • A woman who unexpectedly inherited 100 acres of the family farm and is selling the farmhouse to pay for the land to be returned to wild land
  • A Suffolk vicar who has returned her churchyard to nature
  • A special needs school in Lowestoft that has created a wild nature garden and orchard for children and staff
  • A 24-acre farm where 1,500 indigenous trees were planted and a wildlife pond created

So far, Peterborough pledges are few and far between, although a garden pledge has been made by someone identified only as Emma from a PE7 postcode.

The map forms the shape of a lynx head which has become the symbol of WildEast's long-term species reintroduction goals. It was developed by Global MapAid, a social enterprise working to support sustainability projects around the world.

As it evolves, WildEast hopes the map can demonstrate a landscape-scale nature recovery effort which could attract carbon-offsetting investment, and could fit with a key part of the government's emerging green policies to fund farmers and landowners.

Interested participants can pledge land (be it farmland, gardens, school land, churchyard, industrial estates or allotments), their time and experience, or a donation to help create a greener, more sustainable ​​​​​​region.