Young people call on the public and candidates to #Thinknature at the ballot box

Thursday 25th May 2017

#Thinknature (Credit Tom Marshall) #Thinknature (Credit Tom Marshall)

A group of young environmentalists, alongside Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the national Wildlife Trusts movement, are calling on both candidates and the public to think about nature and its importance when they vote.

The General Election on 8th June is happening at a crucial time for wildlife. The majority of UK environmental law is tied into EU law, as are some key policies that affect wildlife - including agriculture and fisheries.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, as part of the national Wildlife Trusts movement, would like to see parties commit to the following three policies and ask that the public take action for the environment by questioning local candidates on these areas:

1. Nature's recovery in a generation. To achieve this will require transferring all current EU environmental laws into statute in the UK and ensure they are policed. In England it is vital to enact an Environment Act that restores the ecology of our rivers, farmland, soils and cities.

2. Protection of our marine wildlife through a well enforced and complete network of marine protected areas in UK seas and sustainable fisheries policies.

3. New sustainable policies for our farmland to allow wildlife to thrive alongside food production. Taxpayer’s money should be invested in creating abundant wildlife, healthy soils, clean water, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and beautiful landscapes for the benefit of everyone.

Dominic Hinchley, age 24 said:“For me, the natural world offers adventure; whether it is discovering the wildlife visiting your garden or exploring a forgotten woodland path. It is fundamental to the well-being and prosperity of our own and future generations that the UK is a world-leader on the environment. I would urge all politicians to commit to creating healthy seas and landscapes, clean water and air and ask the public to assess each party manifesto with the environment in mind, alongside all other important policy areas. Let us ensure a positive future for the environment for the benefit of everyone.”

Louise Wilkinson, Campaigns and Policy Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said:“Candidates will be talking to the public over the next couple of weeks and we ask that people take action for nature and question them on their commitment to the natural world. In an election campaign dominated by issues such as Brexit and healthcare, it is important that people also consider arguably the most vital resource of all – a healthy, sustainable environment.”

There is huge popular support for wildlife and the environment from people of all backgrounds. In a recent YouGov poll, 80% of people said they think the UK should have the same or stronger environmental protection after it leaves the EU.

You can show your support for nature at the election by not only questioning candidates and considering the environment as part of your decision, but also by sharing support on social media using the #Thinknature and including why nature matters to you at the ballot box.

For more information on the Trust’s policy asks at the 2017 election, and for specific questions to ask your candidates, visit the website here .

List of YWT Nature Reserves (A-Z)

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