Defend Nature

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#DefendNature: We Need You

UK Government is seriously threatening our wildlife

In the past few weeks we've seen a range of announcements that go against the explicit environmental promises the Conservative Party made in their 2019 manifesto and the mandate they were elected to govern on. If followed through, the changes they intend to make will literally push the natural environment onto the precipice of catastrophe.

Deregulation means removing rules and protections, and has often been characterised as “cutting red tape”. In reality, it means polluters will get away with poisoning our rivers and countryside, that the rules that protect our most important wildlife sites from damage will be ripped up and funding that supports farmers to restore wildlife across our landscapes will be removed. 

We need to draw upon the combined voice all of our members and supporters to demonstrate that these changes are not supported. All of our lives depend on the natural world so please take some time to take one of the actions below. We simply cannot let them get away with it.   

Read our blog below, written by President of Somerset Wildlife Trust, Stephen Moss, for a summary of the situation and why it is so important that you add your voice. And then don't stop there.  Take one of our 3 steps to #DefendNature....or take them all. 

#DefendNature

Step one: social media

Social media can be a powerful vehicle for change and a quick way to add your voice to the #DefendNature conversation.

Step two: writing to your local councillor and MP

We need to make it clear to our political leaders that we want them to represent us and take a stand against the recent announcements.

The templates below are a great place to start, but the more personal the letter the more of an impact it makes. For example, you could mention local wild places that are important to you, draw on examples in your area where nature is under threat or describe why defending nature is important to you and your family.

STEP TWO

Write to your MP

MP means Member of Parliament. They represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons, acting on a larger scale.

Find your MP here

Draft your own letter, or use our template letter here as a base to get you started.

Further guidance here
Step two

Write to your local councillor

Councillors deal with things on a more local scale than MPs by representing your area and influence council policies.

Find your local councillor here.

Draft your own letter, or use our template letter here as a base to get you started.

Step three

Defend Nature postcard options
Step three

Send a postcard to your MP today!

Ask your MP to #DefendNature by sending a postcard that will land on the doormat of their office. 

Choose your postcard

Why are The Wildlife Trusts and other environmental charities so concerned?

We believe the UK Government has launched a full-scale attack on nature – leaving wildlife unprotected by tearing up some of the most fundamental laws we’ve got.

New planning laws and ‘investment zones’ announced on Friday 23rd September represent a ‘free-for-all’ on nature by weakening the laws previously in place to protect it from bulldozers and concrete. The new Retained EU Law Bill could also see the end of basic protections, leading to the loss of designated wildlife sites and a relaxation on pollution laws, resulting in more sewage in our rivers and streams.

What’s more, the UK Government is also reviewing the new system that has been developed to reward farmers that help to restore the environment. Reports suggest that instead they might revert back to the old system of paying farmers depending on how much land they own (with larger landowners receiving more subsidy). This is a complete about turn on the farming reform the Conservation Party promised to deliver in their election manifesto in 2019.

Otter

WildNet - Amy Lewis

Resources

Further reading

Deregulation

  • Read more about Deregulation and what it means in this Wildlife Trust Blog here

  • Read this really useful Blog by our RSPB friends about Habitats Regulations here

"The Growth Plan"

  • Read a really useful Guardian article by Tony Juniper here on the nature vs. economy debate. 

  • Read the Government’s Growth Plan here

  • More detail on the proposed Investment Zones’ here

ELMS

  • This blog from TWT on 2nd Nov which is latest - here 

  • Read more about the risk to ELMS in the Wildlife Trust blog here.  

  • Read the Guardian article here for a different perspective.  

  • Read the Government’s Food Security report here

  • For a deep dive into how the farming industry is tackling the move to ELMS, Farmers weekly have collected a suite of resources here 

Energy Crisis

Read more about how we can tackle the energy crisis in this Wildlife Trust blog here.

Retained EU Laws Bill

The Wildlife Trusts recently releases a series of four blogs with more detail on various elements of the Retained EU Laws Bill. 

This Bill was debated at second reading on Tuesday 25 October 2022 and has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee, which will scrutinise the Bill line by line and is expected to report to the House by Thursday 22 November 2022. 

The blogs are based on the following elements of the Bill: 

Pop up event

Need help making sense of the issues at large and all the environmental jargon? Want to do more but not sure what’s going to have impact? 

A recording of our pop-up panel event with experts will be available here soon!