Friday, 22 July 2016

Letter to the Environment Secretary

As suggested in a previous post I have e-mailed our new Environment Secretary - Andrea Leadsom,
I would urge everyone to consider emailing her to champion the environment.

Here is what I sent:

Dear Mrs Leadsom,
Congratulations on your new cabinet post and for performing so well during the EU Referendum campaign. Having had a week or two to settle into your new role I felt it was time to ask you to consider the direction of DEFRA especially in the light of Brexit.
You have a real opportunity to have a positive impact on nature conservation in the UK, more so perhaps than any previous minister for this portfolio. The exit from the EU will need us to firmly take the reins of our own environmental policy and it is about time Britain became a world leader in this regard. I ask you to seriously consider the following points:
1. Retention of Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment. The UK has had good Town and Country Planning legislation since 1949 and there is no reason for this to relaxed.

2. Abandon CAP and replace it with a system that marries nature conservation techniques with sustainable production. A stewardship scheme that rewards landowners for protecting wildlife whilst still allowing them to make a living.

3. Continue to lead the way in Climate Change policy and drive technology to combat it this is a way in which the environment and industry can both profit.

4. Maintain species protection with the Wildlife and Countryside Act and protect species under the Hunting with Dogs legislation.

5. Honour the designations and species protection outlined in Natura 2000 including SPA and SAC sites.

6. Maintain and strengthen existing UK designations such as SSSI's and plan wildlife sites on a landscape level as well as the local - expanding the living landscape efforts of the Wildlife Trusts. Link site protection with local interests and facilitate people’s ability to connect with nature.

7. Maintain existing Marine Protection Areas and expand them to partner with maintaining Fishing stocks for a buoyant and sustainable fishing fleet.

8. Take a sensible look at Re-wilding as a means of restoring ecological balance. A prime example is of how Pine Marten recovery has helped curtail Grey Squirrels and aid Red Squirrels or how Beavers act as ecosystem engineers.

9. Readdress the idea of using vaccination to control TB in the Cattle population. The science goes against the current Badger cull policy and yet it is still in place.

10. Continue to focus on Local Biodiversity Action Planning but emphasise real world application rather than just reporting and public relations/education campaigns.

 I know that much of what I write may seem revolutionary to some but I really do feel it is time DEFRA took the lead and that you could be just the minister to do this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope some of it strikes a chord and  can be implemented into policy.


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