The Trust are urging all candidates to put nature first and commit to tackling the climate and ecological emergency, should they be elected next month.
In a letter to candidates, Dr Jo Smith CEO at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, states: ‘We know that so many voters care passionately about the state of nature and want their local Government to as well. Here in Derbyshire we’re witnessing devastating losses of wildlife and wild spaces that will only get worse if candidates ignore the problems. Nature’s recovery is the most pressing political and social issue of our time.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are asking candidates to commit to:
1. Champion the recovery of nature. Help us ensure 33% of Derbyshire is connected and protected for nature’s recovery by 2030 by providing resources and funding to deliver a Nature Recovery Network.
2. Prioritise local solutions to the global climate and nature crisis. Drive investment in carbon capture in woodlands, wetland and peatlands and invest in nature based solutions to climate challenges like flooding, and pollution.
3. Back natural health and wellbeing. By supporting Green Prescribing programmes and wild wellbeing initiatives, as well as ensuring everyone benefits from accessible local green spaces where nature thrives.
4. Ensure development that is good for people and for nature. By protecting valuable wild spaces from destruction and making sure all developments create net gain for nature.
5. Support innovative approaches to boosting the green economy. By investing in training and job creation for the growing green economy, backing nature-based tourism, and rewilding depleted land.
Here in Derbyshire this would mean support for greener health initiatives such as Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s new green prescribing programme. A pilot project in partnership with the NHS that looks to ensure people who suffer with poor mental health are able to improve their wellbeing with time spent in nature and connected to nature, guided by professionals from NHS and the Trust. It will also mean that local green spaces in urban areas such as Derby and Chesterfield are protected, and more created, so people can benefit from the physical and mental benefits of nature.
Tim Birch Director of Nature’s Recovery at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said, “We need our candidates to not only pledge their support, but stick to it if they are voted in. It’s vital to nature’s recovery. We want to see projects that prioritise natural climate solutions to tackle flooding and climate are supported, such as the work by Moors for the Future to restore peatlands near Kinder for carbon and water capture and our reintroduction of beavers, seeing the return of an iconic species and one that will help tackle flooding in the Trent Valley. We can only achieve the change needed for nature if we all work together. From local councillors, local authorities, landowners and businesses. We all have a part to play in nature’s recovery.”
Fantastic examples of sympathetic, natural restoration of quarries, such as Longcliffe’s Hoe Grange Quarry could also be replicated across the county. Once a site filled with heavy machinery, it has been left to nature and is now famous for being home to the most butterfly species in Derbyshire. And roadsides could be filled with wildflowers, connecting fragmented habitats for insects and pollinators.
Tim adds, “These are just a few examples of how support for these pledges can transform Derbyshire into a wilder, better place for people and wildlife.”
You can read the Trust’s manifesto for wildlife here: