Steve Mewes, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Policy and Campaigns Manager explains why we all need to act now and vote for nature in June’s General Election.
The General Election will soon be here and undoubtedly we’re all thinking about how to cast our vote. Somerset Wildlife Trust votes for nature, and we are asking you to do the same.
Somerset is blessed with wonderful moors, a stunning coastline, rolling farmland, and picturesque towns and villages, with the added jewels of the unique wetlands in the Levels and Moors, Exmoor National Park and four ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
Now is a crucial time to ensure that everything we hold dear in the county’s natural world isn’t forgotten, that our beautiful landscapes, precious wildlife and our natural heritage is protected for generations to come. It is vital that a positive deal for the UK’s wildlife is secured in the upcoming election, during the BREXIT negotiations and following our departure from the European Union, as decisions made during the process of leaving the EU could have substantial impacts on the strong protections Somerset currently enjoys.
For example, the agriculture and fisheries policies – currently developed at EU level – have for many years provided a source of funding for farming that protects wildlife. We must use this General Election as an opportunity to craft new domestic policies that could lead to a thriving countryside, where farming and conservation works seamlessly together.
Somerset Wildlife Trust wrote to all the candidates in Somerset asking what they will do for nature if elected on 8th June. In particular the Trust asked the candidates for a ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas in UK seas, including our Somerset coast; action to ensure we are the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it; creation of new farming policies, where taxpayers’ money is invested in ways to deliver multiple benefits, including healthy soils, clean water, natural flood management, and the protection of beautiful landscapes.
Whether you attend a hustings, meet your candidates on the doorstep or contact them by letter, email or via social media, we urge you to find out what your local candidates are doing to protect the future of the county’s wildlife. What happens after June 8th is fundamental to the well-being and prosperity of our own and future generations. Please join us in holding our politicians to account. Nature can’t vote, but we can vote for nature.
For more information on how you can take action and vote for nature, please visit: www.somersetwildlife.org/Election_2017 . Also you can get in touch with Steve via Twitter @SWTsteve.