Today I took action for nature. At lunchtime I phoned the two local wildlife trusts of which I am a member, Surrey Wildlife Trust and Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust to increase my monthly subscription payment. The staff I spoke to seemed surprised but pleased to hear from me, my small reaction against the horrible negativity of the moment to help safeguard our wildlife.
I also used the 30dayswild app to suggest a random act of wildness, and something very apt appeared:
Challenge accepted! I have been writing a letter (well, email) to my MP to let him know how much wildlife means to me and to express my hope that the protection it receives will continue and increase following any changes that come from the referendum results last week.
In particular I am concerned that much of our wildlife protection comes from EU legislation, such as the Habitats and Wildlife Directive that protects the Thames Basin Heaths in my area and the rare wildlife that lives on them, like the nightjar I watched last week. Subsidies that promote sustainable farming practices also come from the EU and this support should be maintained and strengthened. Nature should not be cordoned off in reserves but a whole landscape strategy developed to provide for wildlife, links between wild populations and space for animals, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects to grow and thrive.
Other environmental legislation, targets for reducing air pollution, increasing recycling and composting, these all come from the EU. I do not want to see current targets abandoned, 50% recycling by 2020 should still be an attainable and realistic ambition. Air pollution is directly harmful to everyone who lives in areas affected, and this needs to be addressed.
In the future I want to see the UK as an environmental leader and not the dirty man of Europe and I want my MP to know that. I hope he will listen to my concerns and take them into account as plans are made for the new world we find ourselves in.
My voice alone won’t make a difference, but working with others and supporting environmental organisations I hope that the protections our environment currently has can be maintained and improved for all our benefits. I urge you to write to your MP too, to let them know why nature matters to you.