This is a time of unprecedented change for the natural environment and the way it is protected. So what are the threats - and how can you help improve the outlook for wildlife?
Our decision to leave the EU opens the door to a fundamental change in the way our wildlife is managed and protected on land and at sea. Crucial wildlife protection, farming subsidies and fisheries policies are being thrown up in the air, with little sense yet as to what will replace them.
With all this uncertainty though, comes opportunity. If we get it right, we can implement a range of policies for farming, fishing and wildlife protection that will help improve our natural environment and stem the tide of species loss.
If we get it wrong, the problems we have been facing in recent decades could get much, much worse.
At Derbyshire Wildlife Trust we’re working with The Wildlife Trusts nationally, developing our vision for a better set of laws and policies that will help our natural environment thrive. At the core of our asks of government will be:
- Protection of key wildlife sites and species to be at least as strong as – and ideally better than - what is provided by the existing EU laws.
- Farming policy that encourages farmers to deliver a range of public goods including wildlife, flood protection and good soil management.
- Strong action to tackle climate change.
- A marine environment that allow fish stocks to recover and leaves more space for whales, dolphins, sea birds and vital sea floor habitats.
As the new government takes shape and starts formulating policy, we have a great opportunity to make our voice heard.
How can you help today?
Support Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Every new supporter gives Devon's wildlife more of a voice. If you love Devon's spectacular wildlife and want to enjoy it now and protect it for the future... please join Derbyshire Wildlife Trust today.
In response to the vote to leave the EU, eleven-year-old Wildlife Trust supporter Zach Haynes set up an e-petition calling for the government to set up new laws for the UK that give our precious wildlife and environment the same protection as under the EU Nature Directives.
You can add your voice to Zach’s – and thousands of others - here.
MPs are much more likely to speak up for the natural world if their constituents have told them it is an important concern in their local area.
Contact your MP to tell them how much you care about the protection of Derbyshire's wildlife and wild places: the moorslands, wetlands and woodlands that make our county so special.
Talk to your friends and encourage them to contact their MP too. We need to make a noise if we want to see wildlife and the natural world protected in the future. We cannot rely on politicians in Westminster to do this. It is up to us.
Our wildlife is precious
Jo Smith, CEO
Our wildlife is precious, fragile and in peril. Only by taking more responsibility for our negative impacts on wildlife and investing time, money and resolution into creating and maintaining space for wildlife to thrive can we hope to have a healthy and wealthy future.
Sadly, the result of the recent EU Referendum means an even more uncertain future for Derbyshire’s wildlife. Whatever your view on Britain’s position in Europe, we all now live in a changing world and what is clear is that we face a huge challenge to ensure wildlife is given appropriate support amongst a huge array of current concerns and uncertainties.
Tackling biodiversity loss and many other environmental issues can only realistically be addressed through law and regulation. The EU’s ‘Nature Directives’ set the framework for UK nature protection laws, including protecting key birds and habitats. A whole host of other EU laws created cleaner rivers, beaches, seas and air. While these directives continue to apply currently, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how they will be maintained or replaced once the government begins the legal process of leaving the EU.
We now need those involved in securing our future outside the EU to recognize the importance of wildlife and wild places. We need better incentives for landowners to reward them for wildlife friendly management and we need appropriate legislation to protect wildlife from a huge array of threats. Plus, to underpin all this, we need to rebuild the connection between people and nature.
Protecting our precious wildlife, against a background of shrinking resources and reduced funding, is a huge challenge. Nevertheless, with the amount of support given to the Trust by our members, supporters and volunteers, we are more than ready for that challenge. We are in a good position to enable Derbyshire to play a significant part in nature’s recovery. Your support and the support of all of our members: past present and future, has never been more important.
(Pre-Referendum content below)
Find out more about what The Wildlife Trusts were saying before the vote to leave:
- Read a report on the implications of Brexit for our wildlife and environment (commissioned pre-Referendum)
Photo, Bat, Robert Booth