Nature is in trouble, more than half of our species are in decline and the UK is now one of the most nature depleted places on earth. The recent launch of the State of Nature Report highlights how much threat our UK wildlife is in. We must act now to make a change for the future!
But the momentum for change is growing rapidly, thousands of supporters have joined the Wildlife Trusts campaign for a Wilder Future and more of you are speaking out for nature. A climate emergency has been declared, the environment is always in the news and more people are joining climate strikes around the world. Yesterday, Channel 4 News held the first ever climate debate with party leaders.
The general election on 12th December is the perfect opportunity for us to build on this momentum, but we need your help. It’s crucial that candidates from all political parties hear about how important the environment is to people across the UK. We also want all candidates to understand our vision for wildlife so they can take the right steps to help ensure nature’s recovery, should they be elected into office. Tell them that they need to step up for nature!
1. Commit to an ambitious Environment Act with legally binding targets to restore nature
This should include a Nature Recovery Network, which would map important areas for wildlife and look at how to protect and join these areas up, creating corridors to allow nature space to move and thrive. This Act also needs a powerful, independent environmental watchdog, to ensure policies are correctly implemented.
2. Commit to an Agriculture Bill that pays farmers to help wildlife and restore our countryside
Public money should be used for the good of everyone. By introducing this strong Agriculture Bill, farmers would be supported to help create a landscape of connected habitats. Soils would be restored, safeguarding future harvests and locking away carbon. Important pollinators would have access to more, better quality, habitats.
3. Commit to revive our marine environment
Our seas need a network of Highly Protected Marine Areas and a new Marine Strategy, to guide how we develop at sea, how we fish within environmental limits and how we restore our marine ecosystems to support plentiful fish and wildlife and draw down carbon.
Quizzing your candidates
If you want to quiz your candidates on what they’ll do for nature, we’ve put together a few quick questions you can ask them:
1. How will you and your party act decisively to tackle the crises in the natural environment?
You could also ask: Will you and your party commit to an Environment Act that creates connections for wildlife and tackles nature’s decline head on?
2. What will your party do to support farmers in contributing to nature’s recovery?
If you want more detail, ask them: Will you and your party introduce an Agriculture Bill that pays farmers for helping wildlife’s recovery and other positive environmental actions?
3. What will your party do to protect and revive our seas?
More specifically: Will you make sure that our seas are managed properly, and important marine habitats are given the high level of protection they need and deserve?
Print our poster asking for a Wilder Future
We’ve produced a poster to help you talk to candidates and we hope it will be useful for you at this important time. It contains our three key asks and some questions you can you as a prompt to help ask candidates key questions about their plans if they are elected. You could also display it somewhere visible so candidates can see it when they are canvassing in your neighbourhood.
Show your support on social media
Add our twibbon to your profile picture and show you will be voting for wildlife
Download the Wildlife Trusts Manifesto
Read the Wildlife Trusts manifesto calling on every political party to pledge to deliver a #WilderFuture
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trusts are entirely non-partisan. We do not endorse, or otherwise act for, or on behalf of, any candidate, political party or parties.
Owl photo: Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography