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Act for Nature: take part in our e-campaign now

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Children in woodland, by Ric Mellis

The Wildlife Trusts and other wildlife charities are challenging the political parties to Act for Nature and commit to a ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’, not only for wildlife’s sake but also for the contribution nature makes to people’s health and wellbeing.

Will you Act for Nature with us?

You can help to make sure our MPs know how important this is – go to The Wildlife Trusts Act for Nature page and e-mail your MP to ask them to support a ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’.

The ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’ Green Paper sets out compelling evidence which shows just how much people need nature. It offers an ambitious package of measures to turn around the decline in our natural environment, and contributes to many of our most pressing social and political objectives.

Estelle Bailey, chief executive of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, says: “Government and businesses are consistently failing to value the importance of nature, in spite of the important aspirations outlined in the Natural Environment White Paper, published in December 2011.

“This Government wanted to ‘mend the inherited damage in our natural environment’ and be ‘the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it inherited’; but that just has not happened.

“We need a ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’ now as a long-term commitment so that nature and the wider environment can be properly valued by local and central government through policy-making and legislation, and by businesses seeking to improve the nation’s economy.”

The Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB have developed the ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’ Green Paper. Key parts would be:

  • Valuing nature properly, establishing a body to hold government to account for our natural resources
  • Establishing a ‘national ecological network’, that knits together local visions, and requires each local authority to develop a strategy for improving the network.
  • Ensure everyone, particularly school children, can access nature easily.

Background to Act for Nature campaign

RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts are calling for a ‘Nature and Wellbeing Act’ that secures the recovery of nature in England in a generation by:

  • Improving the status of species and their habitats for the next generation
  • Placing the value of nature at the heart of decision-making, nationally and locally, and across all Government Departments
  • Ensuring that local action for nature is linked across the land delivering natural green spaces and natural systems, that are more resilient in the face of climate change
  • Better connecting people with nature, giving everyone access to natural green spaces and ensuring that our children have a greater understanding of our natural world and what it does for us.

At the end of July 2014 The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB called on all the main political parties to value nature, secure its recovery and underpin improvements to people’s health, wellbeing and the economy by committing to a new Nature and Wellbeing Act.

In September, The Environmental Audit Committee commended this call for a Nature and Wellbeing Act in its recent Environmental Scorecard report, see Recommendation 9 on this document.

In May 2013, the publication of the State of Nature report published by a coalition of leading conservation and research organisations concluded that UK nature is in trouble. Scientists from 25 wildlife organisations compiled a stock take of our native species – the first of its kind in the UK. The State of Nature report reveals that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.