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Back from the Brink

The first of its kind, Back from the Brink seeks to save from extinction 20 of the UK’s most endangered animals, plants and fungi. This ambitious programme will also benefit more than 200 at-risk species, carried out by 19 projects at more than 40 sites across England.

Heathland C. Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

The project began in 2017 after a one-year development stage and targets the conservation of species such as the grey long-eared bat, field cricket, barberry carpet moth, black-tailed godwit, pine marten and shrill carder bee. Some projects predominantly focus on the conservation of micro-habitats which endangered creatures rely on, whilst others focus on specific species struggling for survival.

Back from the Brink was developed by Natural England and a collective known as Rethink Nature, which comprises seven conservation charities - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), Bat Conservation Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). These groups are pooling expertise, developing new ways of working and are all united to inspire people to care for the country’s natural wonders. In addition to on-the-ground conservation, Back from the Brink also aim to inspire others, recruiting and training an army of volunteers to support their efforts. Over the lifespan of the project so far, 60,000 people have been directly engaged with a vast range of education and conservation events.

Paul Hetherington of Buglife, one of the partners in Back from the Brink, said: “Extinction is forever. There is no turning back. We have a moral responsibility to prevent the extinction of all species. Back from the Brink is the start of the recovery journey for more than 200 of England’s most endangered species. This project is also the first time such a wide range of species-specific organisations have pooled resources to work holistically for the benefit of all species, making it a ground-breaking cooperation.”

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