RSPB, National Trust and others call on supporters to write to MPs as they argue ‘nature is not a negotiable luxury’
Environmental charities are mobilising their millions of members to take on the UK government over what they say is an attack on nature in the push for growth.
Groups including the RSPB, the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, and Wildlife and Countryside link are encouraging supporters to put pressure on Conservative MPs over proposals that they say strike at the heart of environmental and wildlife protections.
The main charities involved have a combined membership of more than 15 million.
Their concerns include:
The removal from the statute books of 570 laws derived from EU directives that make up the bedrock of environmental regulations in the UK, covering sewage pollution, water quality and clean air. These include the habitat regulations, which have protected areas for wildlife for more than 30 years.
The ending of the moratorium on fracking.
The creation of low-tax investment zones from Cornwall to Cumbria where environmental protections would be relaxed to encourage development.
The feared scrapping of the post-Brexit environmental land management scheme (Elms), which pays farmers to enhance nature.
The charities’ campaign asks members to contact their Conservative MPs to leave them in no doubt of their opposition to the proposals.
Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s chief executive, said: “We are gearing up to fight the biggest attack on nature in a generation and the immediate outpouring of support from all quarters has been overwhelming.
“The economy, food security and our own health and well-being is wholly reliant on a healthy natural environment, yet this government appears intent on amending or scrapping crucial environmental laws. As we hold urgent talks with our partners across the sector, we are calling on all nature lovers to stand up for wildlife, contact their MPs, and make their voices heard.”
Craig Bennett, the chief executive officer of the Wildlife Trusts, said: “Nature is under attack from a raft of dangerous decisions by government and we know people are furious at the new threats.
“Vital legal protections for wildlife are at risk, fossil fuel extraction is being favoured over renewables, and the government is going back on plans to reward farmers for managing land in a nature-friendly way.
“The government wants deregulation that will lead to yet more poo in rivers, less wildlife and land that’s unable to adapt to climate change.
“We are calling on the public to contact their elected representatives and share just how concerned they are. These actions will affect us all – the communities where we live, our wild places, food security, and our futures.”