We need a man­i­festo for na­ture

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

THE one thing that dis­ap­pointed me, and peo­ple who care about wildlife, was the com­plete lack of any­thing en­vi­ron­men­tal in cam­paigns for Labour lead­er­ship and Brexit.

It was either ig­nored or pushed aside by agen­das set by red-faced peo­ple with loud voices. In the pro-na­ture camp we are all a bit more placid and rea­son­able.

So we have de­cided to form a gang – the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the Na­tional Trust – to make a bit more noise for na­ture. We have cre­ated a man­i­festo for our may­oral can­di­dates and asked them to make pledges to pro­tect the pre­cious en­vi­ron­ment in the north west.

To­gether we have more than 60,000 mem­bers in Greater Manch­ester, coura­geously de­fend­ing and pro­tect­ing our wildlife and the ar­eas where it lives. I say coura­geously be­cause there are quite a few peo­ple who have a lot to say about the way we all work.

Yet we are com­mit­ted to de­fend­ing wildlife and pro­tect­ing habi­tats so that gen­er­a­tions to come can en­joy the out­stand­ing na­ture we have in our re­gion.

I be­lieve the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the north west feel the same way. Just look at the re­sponses to the Greater Manch­ester Spa­tial Frame­work and the over­whelm­ing fear among res­i­dents is the ero­sion of green ar­eas on their doorstep.

We hear a lot about the im­por­tance of na­ture for health and well-be­ing, about how our chil­dren need to be out­doors both ed­u­ca­tion­ally and so­cially, yet our nat­u­ral world con­tin­ues to be eroded by de­vel­op­ment.

A doc­tor called Guy McPherson once said: “If you re­ally think that the en­vi­ron­ment is less im­por­tant than the econ­omy, try hold­ing your breath while you count your money.”

Another ben­e­fit we three char­i­ties are hop­ing for is that the new mayor will en­cour­age peo­ple to get in­volved with the wilder world. They can be­come wildlife recorders, vi­tally im­por­tant in en­sur­ing species are safe and abun­dant.

You can do this in your own gar­den by elon­gat­ing the Big Gar­den Bird­watch through­out the whole year – then tell your lo­cal records cen­tre.

And we want peo­ple in turn to make their gar­dens more wildlife friendly.

The Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the wildlife in Lan­cashire, seven bor­oughs of Greater Manch­ester and four of Mersey­side, all ly­ing north of the River Mersey. To be­come a mem­ber visit lanc­swt. org.uk.

Why not elon­gate the Big Gar­den Bird­watch through­out the year?

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