We need a manifesto for nature
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?