Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has published a “Manifesto for a Wilder Future” containing five key pledges for those standing for the Staffordshire County Council and District Council elections.
The charity says that we are teetering on the brink of multiple extinctions brought about by decades of poor farming policy, pollution, destructive development and climate change.
Here in Staffordshire many species are being destroyed, including water vole, hazel dormouse, hedgehog and several invertebrate species such as the small heath butterfly and the native white-clawed crayfish.
These threats to nature are a threat to all of us as we depend on nature, for our homes, our water, our food, our physical and mental health, and even for our future prosperity.
The Trust wants candidates to show their support for wildlife by backing its five manifesto pledges as part of their election campaign and help reverse these trends.
They believe the next 10 years are critical for wildlife and habitats and want it to be a time of renewal and of rewilding people’s lives.
The five pledges candidates are being asked to support are:
- Champion a Nature Recovery Network - help us ensure 30% of Staffordshire land is connected and protected for nature’s recovery by 2030 by providing resources and funding to deliver a Nature Recovery Network.
- 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.
- Back Natural Health and wellbeing - by supporting Green Prescribing programmes and wild wellbeing, and initiatives for young people, as well as ensuring everyone benefits from accessible local green spaces where nature thrives.
- Ensure development that is good for people and for nature - by protecting valuable wild spaces from destruction and making sure all new housing, commercial and infrastructure developments improve biodiversity by creating more nature-rich places.
- 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.
Julian Woolford, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “In the UK, nature is in trouble with more than half our species in decline. We live in a time of an ecological emergency and we need councils and councillors to support this vision.
“Nature’s recovery is the most important political and social issue of our time. The next 10 years are critical. It has to be a time of renewal, of rewilding our lives, of Green Recovery. If we act now and together, we can put nature into recovery.
“To do that, we need councillors of all parties from all across Staffordshire to support our vision.”
The charity will be writing to all candidates in April to ask them to pledge their support for the manifesto, voters will be able to see candidates’ responses on the charity’s website – www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk
To view the Trust’s manifesto, visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/manifesto2021