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In Defence of Nature - Support Our Landscape & Wildlife over bad policy and short-sightedness.

Most UK Butterflies (Peacock, Aglais io pictured) have been in decline
Most UK Butterflies (Peacock, Aglais io pictured) have been in decline

This post in all likelihood will date very quickly. Or at least I hope it does! The UK government in September 2022 has rewritten the rulebook on a great many things, from undertaking a fiscal policy that at best seems reckless and at worst so utterly naive and foolhardy that it suggests the people in charge are so completely clueless over how to run an economy that they really should be allowed nowhere near it in the first place. That, of course, is my opinion and you are welcome to feel otherwise. Similarly, you may feel that tax cuts for the rich without benefit to the poor are good things - I do not.

As well as fiscal and economic concerns, in an effort to be more self-sufficient with energy production, we have knee-jerked into a position of supporting Fracking in the UK again. Universally unpopular with UK citizens, but seemingly the preferred choice of the UK government. This choice has wide reaching potential ramifications, though I suspect the moratorium on fracking will be reinstated at some point.

Finally, we have an unwriting of EU legislation which has been described as 'burdensome' by government. I am prepared to hear convincing arguments for the rewriting of any legislation where a better solution is possible. Much of the rules to be torn up are concerned with the preservation of landscape, water quality standards, uses of chemicals in food production and the general balance of ecology in our countryside; these, I will never support.

Today I received an email from The Wildlife Trust, just as I have had tweets from the RSPB and others requesting action to write to our local MP and ask for them to champion the protection of our wildlife and natural environment. I will, of course, do this and urge you to do the same. I publish the media release from The Wildlife Trust below to clarify the detail of the issues as they see it and encourage you to read and support as best you can. Regardless of your political position, if you are reading this blog post, I think it highly likely that you support to protection of our natural environment. We can make energy cleanly and we can protect our landscape and its inhabitants without it being 'burdensome'. We can and we must do better here.

Please support as you can.


Lewis (iPlantsman)

Delicate balance of environment required for many plant species, like these Early Purple Orchids.
Delicate balance of environment required for many plant species, like these Early Purple Orchids.


Public urged to defend nature as new policies threaten nature, climate and food security

The Wildlife Trusts are asking their members, supporters and the wider public to defend nature by contacting MPs and local councillors – both online and in person – to voice concerns over new Government proposals.

The Wildlife Trusts, alongside other nature charities, are extremely worried about announcements made by the Government that pose serious threats to nature, climate and food security.

Over the last few days, the Government has:

  • Announced the Retained EU Law Bill – threatening to revoke hundreds of laws that protect wild places and ensure standards for water quality, pollution and the use of pesticides

  • Announced a new planning and infrastructure bill as well as investment zones as part of the growth plan, which threaten to weaken vital protections for habitats and wildlife

  • Launched a ‘review’ of the long-awaited Environmental Land Management schemes – which were meant to reward farmers for restoring nature, preventing pollution from entering rivers and climate-proofing their businesses

  • Lifted a ban on fracking in England, despite there being no evidence that proves fracking is safe

The proposals have caused outrage among green charities, politicians of all political persuasion, farmers, campaigners, and members of the public – many of whom feel anxious that the Government is not tackling the nature and climate crises with the urgency required.

A recent poll by the Climate Coalition – a group of leading environmental organisations and campaigners – found that only 23% of people felt the Government is doing enough to tackle the climate crisis. Polling carried out by Unchecked found that strong regulation is supported by voters – irrespective of which way they voted in the EU referendum.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“Nature is under attack from a raft of dangerous decisions by Government and we know people are furious at the new threats. Vital legal protections for wildlife are at risk, fossil fuel extraction is being favoured over renewables, and the Government is going back on plans to reward farmers for managing land in a nature-friendly way.

“The Government’s Food Security Report 2021 identified climate change and biodiversity loss as the biggest threats to food production in future – so farming in harmony with nature must be encouraged – yet the Government wants deregulation that’ll lead to yet more poo in rivers, less wildlife and land that’s unable to adapt to climate change.

“We are calling on the public to contact their elected representatives and share just how concerned they are. These actions will affect us all – the communities where we live, our wild places, food security, and our futures. The climate and nature crises pose monumental challenges, and recent proposals by this Government will only make things worse.”

Joan Edwards, director of policy at The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“This is the most destructive set of policies I have seen in over 35 years of working in nature conservation. At a time when nature needs us most, the Government is threatening to turn a very bad situation into a complete disaster. Pursuing a dangerous agenda of deregulation will push much-loved species such as water voles and hedgehogs to the brink of extinction even faster than we’d feared. We depend on the natural world for everything from clean water to food – this has to be respected.”

The Wildlife Trusts argue that abandoning regulations that protect nature and creating low regulation ‘investment zones’ with few planning restrictions could decimate UK wildlife, which is already suffering steep declines.

Since 1970, more than 40% of species have declined in abundance, with 26% of mammals at risk of disappearing altogether. Every river and lake in England currently fails chemical pollution standards and only 16% are classed in good ecological health compared to 53% on average in the EU.

As things stand, Government ambition for nature’s recovery aims to have just 10% more nature in 2042 than 2030 levels – by which time the state of our natural world is expected to have declined even further. Earlier this year, The Wildlife Trusts wrote to the Prime Minister expressing serious concern and calling instead for a 20% increase on 2022 levels.

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1 Comment

This is extremely worrying.

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