Act Swiftly for nature’s sake

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Cornwall Wildlife Trust fears the county’s wildlife is in crisis with only a tiny proportion of Cornwall’s previous abundance of wildflowers, birds and sea-life now remaining.

They are asking everyone who wants to see the fortunes of nature in Cornwall improve to react to the Act Swiftly campaign and respond to two key government consultations on farming and planning before 8th May 2018 to help keep Cornwall wildlife friendly.

Carolyn Cadman, Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

” We are urging all supporters of wildlife, including all the farmers and developers who value wildlife, to respond to both the planning and farming consultations to ask the government to prioritise the needs of future generations and the natural world in Cornwall. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure fundamental change to government subsidies and policies which could together secure a better future for wildlife in Cornwall.

“Cornwall’s environment and wildlife is very distinctive and national rules, policies and frameworks do not always ‘fit’ Cornwall well. Wildlife on land is uniquely affected by farming due to our steep river valleys and warm, wet climate. National rules do not always work in Cornwall’s favour, often setting the bar too low, so we need flexibility to ensure our wildlife can thrive”.

On the planning consultation, we want people to ask national and local government to take wildlife more seriously in planning decisions –not least to call for protection for Local Wildlife Sites to be reinstated. We want planning policies to protect wildlife in Cornwall by:

1. Protecting wildlife and recognition of the importance of Local Wildlife Sites (which lose protection under the current proposals)
2. Integrating wildlife habitats into new developments – for wildlife and people
3. Commitment to an improvement for wild species and habitats from all development ‘net biodiversity gain’
4. Requiring that new developments contribute to a national ‘Nature Recovery Network’ by including this into the Cornwall Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

On the agriculture consultation, we want people to ask government to recognise that farmers deserve to be rewarded by the tax payer if their work benefits nature and our society as a whole. We want agricultural policies to protect wildlife in Cornwall by:

1. Rewarding the farmers and land managers of Cornwall for the benefits they provide for us all, like clean water, healthy soils and a wildlife-rich countryside
2. Replacing the Common Agricultural Policy with a system that supports public benefits and environmental outcomes for society
3. Changing the culture of regulation, making it easier for farmers to help nature without being weighed down by paperwork, inspections and bureaucracy

Carolyn Cadman says,

“Cornwall may be a long way from Whitehall, so let’s strengthen our voice by ‘Acting Swiftly’ together by contacting your local MP or Councillor. We must keep up pressure on national and local government to stand by their promises. And we must act now””.

The Wildlife Trusts’ Act Swiftly campaign, spells out why we should all care about the future of food, farming and the environment. Visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/ActSwiftly and add your name to the consultation before 8th May to play your part in the future of Cornwall’s environment.
More information about The Wildlife Trusts’ #ActSwiftly campaign can be found at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/ActSwiftly.