Public support for action to ensure nature’s recovery is being felt by the Government after it received more than 15,000 responses - an unprecedented number - to a consultation to “Shape the Nature of England”.
The Wildlife Trusts encouraged everyone to support its call for the Government to take action for wildlife in an ambitious new way, and help change the way the natural environment is managed. A Living Landscape is The Wildlife Trusts’ recovery plan for nature to help create a resilient and healthy environment, rich in wildlife, and provide ecological security for people.
It launched an online campaign to promote engagement with the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper to members, supporters and partners. In just six weeks the dedicated website www.playyourpart4nature.org.uk received more than 5,200 unique visits.
The White Paper is due to be published in Spring 2011. The Wildlife Trusts want it to:
- Lay down the foundations for new legislation to drive a step-change in action for the recovery of the natural environment
- Provide a framework to restore the health of wildlife and the natural processes upon which people depend, such as clean air and water
- Support people and communities to value, and take action for, wildlife
- Secure protection for, and enhance, existing wildlife sites, now and in the future
- Maintain momentum to implement the Marine & Coastal Access Act and identify Marine Protected Areas
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, is delighted with the unprecedented response to the consultation. She said: "This overwhelming response provides a clear message to the Government that people care passionately about the natural environment and want to see bold and ambitious action to support its recovery. We believe this White Paper is potentially as meaningful as the build-up to the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.
"The Wildlife Trusts actively encouraged people to play their part for nature by responding to the consultation and encouraging their friends and family to do the same. We thank all our members and supporters who responded to it. Thousands chose to show how much they value wildlife and took action. We know millions of people have a passion for wildlife and the natural world. It inspires us every day and provides essential services including food and flood protection.
"Changes in the way our natural environment is managed are essential. The time is now for the Government look at the legislation, policies and funding needed to help nature’s recovery on a landscape-scale and in our seas. This White Paper is an opportunity to make a real difference and help lay solid foundations for the future."
Every Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.