Stand up for a Wilder Kent

Stand up for a Wilder Kent

Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius), Kent, UK - Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

Today, we are asking you to take positive action to help nature’s recovery.

Wildlife is in crisis.  Over half of UK species have declined since 1970 and 15% are now at risk of extinction.  But the natural environment isn’t a nice-to-have: it’s critical for our survival as a species.  We rely on it for the air we breathe, the food we eat and to keep our climate in check.

We must act now.

We’ve been working hard to help MPs understand how important it is for them to support strong environmental laws, including an Environment Act that requires Government and local authorities to protect and restore nature on a large scale, in a coordinated way.  Lots of you have helped by writing to your MP to tell them you wanted a strong Environment Act – thank you!

It was going really well, and the Government was in the process of developing such a law…but now that the General Election has been called, the draft law has “fallen”, and there’s no guarantee that whoever wins this election will bring it back.

The Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (potential MPs) in your area care what will influence you to vote.  Will you tell them that the environment matters to you?  Could you ask them to commit to bringing back a strong Environment Act, as well as related legislation on Agriculture and Fisheries?

For more information, see here

To find the names and contact details of your parliamentary candidates (and to register to vote), contact your local council.

What we’re calling for: 

Nature Targets

We want to see legal targets for nature's recovery, with politicians required to achieve these and report against them regularly (e.g. safer air to breathe in our cities).

A Nature Recovery Network

We want a new system joined-up network of habitats that provide enough space for wildlife to recover and for people to thrive.

Nature Watchdog

We want a new independent body that can challenge Government and councils' decisions when they have a negative impact on wildlife and our natural environment.

Find out more

How would an Environment Act help wildlife in Kent?

A strong Environment Act would:

  • Improve people’s access to nature, especially in towns such as Maidstone and Dover
  • Create new wild areas and wildlife corridors across the county, especially across the Medway towns
  • Keep our existing wildlife sites safe from harm, including our 450 Local Wildlife Sites and 150 Roadside Nature Reserves
  • Protect our best wildlife habitats under the sea, especially our designated Marine Conservation Zones like the Thanet Coast and Folkestone Pomerania
  • Stop our soils washing away into rivers and the sea 
  • Improve air quality, especially in towns such as Maidstone
  • Stop poisoning our rivers and streams, like the Beult and the Stour, with chemicals
  • Reduce emissions that are contributing to climate change
  • Protect people’s rights to a healthy natural environment
  • Avoid the loss of environmental protection laws after Brexit

Why is an Environment Act needed in England?

We need wildlife. Our natural world is valuable in its own right and is the foundation of our wellbeing - we depend on it and it depends on us. Without a healthy natural world, the survival of humanity is at stake. By creating more space for nature, we can create a better world for people and wildlife.

Wildlife is in trouble. From rivers and woodlands to birds and flowers, our natural world is struggling. Over half the species assessed in the State of Nature report have suffered since the 1970s, with many of our much-loved animals struggling. Just some of the declines we have seen in recent years include:

  • 66% decline in the number of barn owls since the 1930s
  • 95% decline in the number of basking shark in UK waters since the 1950s
  • 40% decline in the number of Atlantic salmon since the 1970s
  • 90% decline in the number of common frogs since the 1980s
  • 90% decline in the number of water voles since the 1990s.

Wildlife needs us. We can make a difference. A new and ambitious Environment Act can help reverse the trend of missing wildlife, setting out a plan for nature's recovery and creating a healthier natural world for us all.

Tips for meeting your MP

Share your story. MPs love personal stories. Share yours with them, choosing experiences that have taken place in your local area and meant a lot to you. This way you can show your MP how much the natural environment in your area matters. Perhaps there are some moments shared with your Wildlife Trust or events you've attended that stand out? Can you think how even more wildlife in your area would help to improve it?

Have a clear ask. To make your meeting as successful as possible, make sure you have some clear things to ask your MP to do for you. For example, you could ask them to write to their Party Leader e.g. Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, and their environment team to support an ambitious Environment Act for all the reasons shared above. You can also ask them what they think they can do to help make this happen too!

Don't worry if you're not an expert. It’s your MP’s job to listen to you and you will probably know far more than them - just be passionate about the issue.

After your meeting. We are incredibly grateful that you are representing the issues we face so please let us know how the meeting went.  Also, why not drop your MP a short note or a tweet to thank them.

For Facebook:

For Twitter:

Finally, a big thank you from all of us here at Kent Wildlife Trust.

Jon Hawkins - Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography