The Chancellor, George Osborne, has launched an unprecedented attack on the environment in his Autumn Statement which was perhaps the most environmentally hostile for a generation. Put plainly, he thinks the environment is a barrier to economic growth and jobs: “we will make sure that gold plating of EU rules on things like Habitats aren’t placing ridiculous costs on British businesses”. Examples wheeled out for Cornwall in his speech failed to mention that studies found less damaging but financially viable options were available, local sustainable industries would be damaged and the public money required would have been better spent elsewhere if you wanted to create jobs for Cornwall.
The Habitats Regulations are one of our most important pieces of wildlife legislation. They protect 220 habitats, a thousand species (including, yes, otters), and many of the most special places we all love and value – from the chalk of Salisbury Plain, the heaths of Purbeck, East Devon and the Lizard, the uplands of Dartmoor, Exmoor, and Bodmin, the waterbird spectacles of the Tamar, Exe, Severn and Poole Harbour, to the seabirds on the Isles of Scilly. The weakening of environmental legislation will only make those special places poorer for wildlife, affecting the quality of your life.
So will you Step up for Nature this Christmas?
Here are 3 things you can do now:
1: Write to your MP – read the RSPB campaign page to see what to say, and find your MP here.
2: Write / email your local paper or radio station – let them know you care.
3: Get your friends, family, work colleagues, everyone you know to do nos 1 and 2.
More information can be found on the RSPB press release here.