The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) fear the UK is in danger of becoming a barren urban landscape with a few tiny pockets of wildlife fenced-off in old fashioned reserves. Under a radical new approach to nature conservation, the charity propose making huge areas of the country wildlife-friendly habitat � whether that is alongside a motorway, on and old Ministry of Defence shooting range or next door to the local sewage works. The new 'Futurescapes programme' will not only ensure animals can move easily around the country along 'green corridors' but provide the local community with 'breathing space' in often deprived areas. By using land that is unwanted and encouraging local companies to get involved, it is also a way of increasing the amount of space available to wildlife in the teeth of a recession. Already more than 80 sites around the country have been earmarked for development, including huge swathes of farmland in the North West and former industrial areas of Scotland. In Essex land reclaimed from a supermarket in West Canvey Marsh is set to become a specialist habitat for insects, a huge new port on the Thames will be surrounded by wetland for birds and one of the UK's largest landfill sites in Pitsea will become a country park. It is hoped the avocet, one of the UK's rarest wading birds and the emblem of the RSPB, will return regularly to the area.


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