Whilst of course the economy and jobs are important, so is the air we breathe, the water around us and the natural environment we rely on. Not only that, but many of us just love and enjoy seeing our local wildlife! We need to ensure that the natural environment and the wildlife we love are supported and protected as we leave the EU.

General Election 2017: Take Action!

As we head towards another general election, if you are unsure how to vote, why not ask your local candidates the following questions:

  • How will they ensure that there is at least the same level of legal protection for our internationally important species and local wildlife sites after Brexit?
  • How will they ensure that there is at least the same level of funding for schemes that encourage farmers, land owners and managers to deliver environmentally friendly farming and a natural environment we can all enjoy and benefit from after Brexit?
  • How will they ensure that our air and water quality continues to improve, meeting or exceeding the standards currently set by EU frameworks?

Or of course raise your own concerns about the future of our natural environment and local wildlife. By asking candidates on the doorstep, you are helping to raise the profile of the natural environment during the general election campaign. We need to ensure our politicians don't forget the wildlife!

Never before have the stakes for wildlife been so great. The majority of our environmental laws are currently wrapped up with our membership of the European Union; and so are some really key policies that affect wildlife.

Places such as Blacka Moor, Wyming Brook, Bradfield, Broomhead and Midhope Moors - which support internationally important wildlife - are currently protected by the EU nature directives. Local sites such as Woodhouse Washlands currently receive vital funds to support management that benefits wildlife, and the Water Framework Directive has been key to ensuring targeted investment in improving the water quality and biodiversity of Sheffield and Rotherham’s rivers.

The stakes could not be higher, but the rewards for making the right decisions would also be great: a UK which is a world-leader on the environment with clean air, clear water, a stable climate, healthy seas, beautiful landscapes and thriving wildlife in the places we care about most. All this is fundamental to the well-being and prosperity of our own and future generations.

We know that all around the UK there is huge popular support for wildlife and the environment. In a recent YouGov poll, 80% of people said they think the UK should have the same or stronger environmental protection after it leaves the EU.

The Westminster government has a key role in making this happen, so we, and The Wildlife Trusts as a whole, wish to see all parties commit to:

  1. Nature's recovery within a generation. To achieve this will require us to transfer all current EU environmental laws into statute in the UK and ensure they are policed and the government to pass an Environment Act that restores the ecology of our rivers, cities, farmland and soils.
  2. Protection of our marine wildlife through a well enforced and complete network of marine protected areas in the Irish Sea, and all UK seas, and sustainable fisheries policies.
  3. New sustainable policies for our farmland, upland and lowland, to allow wildlife to thrive alongside food production. Taxpayer’s money should be invested in creating abundant wildlife, healthy soils, clean water, climate change mitigation and beautiful landscapes and accessible urban green-space for the benefit of everyone.