Lines of defence
IF you watch a wildlife TV documentary or use the internet to identify a flower the chances are you care enough about the natural environment enough to want to defend it.
We have just two weeks to tell the European Commission how much we care about very special natural places for wildlife here in Buckinghamshire and across Europe.
Awesome landscapes such as the Cairngorms, the lakes and marshes of the Danube Delta, and ancient beech forests in Bavaria have been protected by the EU Habitats Directive since 1992.
The directive is protecting parts of the Bucks countryside too. The Chilterns Beechwoods and chalk grasslands are designated Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive.
This gives them protection for their special, and in some cases unique, habitats that support animals, birds and plants, which cannot thrive elsewhere.
Now the European Commission iss conducting a Fitness Check of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, which creates Special Protection Areas, to assess if they are fit for purpose and fulfilling their objectives.
The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, along with more than 100 nature organisations believe that these two Nature Directives are worthwhile. We've already responded to the European Commission, now it's time for people who care about the natural environment to respond too.
If you care about the natural environment, please defend nature today, by responding to the EU consultation before July 24.
It's easy to visit the Wildlife Trusts' website www.wildlifetrusts.org/ defendnature and complete the short questionnaire.
The Birds Directive is complementary to the Habitats Directive and covers species that thrive in the special habitats such as the Thames basin heaths. This is a Special Protection Area, due to the populations of woodlark, nightjar and Dartford warbler, all ground-nesting birds that are easily disturbed by people using the heathlands for recreation.
The Birds Directive is doing its job of protecting the Thames Basin Heaths and its wildlife from destruction, while making new areas available for people to enjoy being in the countryside.