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Ellesborough church, Buckinghamshire [© Daniel Atkinson]

UK & Ireland

Across these islands, the British and Irish coast and countryside has an incredible diversity and history that is matched only by its scenic beauty.

From the wildwood forest clearances that started around 6000 BC, through the rural farming landscape we know today being established around the 12th century AD, to the enclosures of the 18th century, British history and landscape evolution have gone hand-in-hand, creating what we see today.

Despite being small, bustling countries with a population totalling over 60 million people and expanding towns and infrastructure, many wild places - both small and large - have survived for us to enjoy, and for us to protect for future generations. Due in part to the conservation movement's growing land ownership in modern Britain (over 3% at present is protected and managed for nature and heritage), the UK can supply a lifetime of exploration and tranquility in beautiful surroundings.

Some parts retain their dominant natural landscapes, particularly the Scottish highlands and islands, northern England (Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Cumbria), southwest England (Somerset, Devon and Cornwall) and many parts of both north and south Wales (Gwynedd, Brecon and Pembrokeshire). Even closer to major cities, large expanses of amazing countryside can be easily reached: the Peak District, the world's second most visited National Park, is under an hour's drive from Manchester, Sheffield and Stoke.

But it's not just the large-scale, spectacular and famous landscapes that can thrill! Small, little-visited places in every neighbourhood can provide relaxation or a surprising natural experience.

Whilst everyone has their own, personal view of country and coast, and there as many ways to enjoy it as there are visitors, the Wild Future site brings together our experiences and the resources of other organisations in one place to help you explore and enjoy to your maximum satisfaction.


Scenes from around the UK (clockwise from top left):
Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon; Ullswater, Lake District;
Point of Sleat & the Cuillins, Isle of Skye; Bluebell Woods, Coleton Fishacre
Chris Parker]

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