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Towards a wilder Cornwall

Posted: Friday 9th November 2018 by trustadmin

In late September my youngest son and I, along with other staff and families from Cornwall Wildlife Trust headed to London’s Hyde Park with 10,000 others, to take part in Chris Packham’s ‘People’s Walk for Wildlife’.

It rained. It rained A LOT. But we kept walking and waving our St Piran flag because we know that, just like the rest of the UK, the last 50 years have seen a decimation of Cornwall’s wildlife species down by 56%. We walked all the way to Downing Street where Chris Packham handed over ‘A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife’.

The manifesto is aimed at reversing decades of declining wildlife figures and species in the UK and starts with a roll-call of extinct or declining animals, insects, and plants. It is well worth a read – packed with 200 ideas for action which range from helping garden hedgehogs and adopting urban trees to more ambitious and provocative challenges for government.

Like me, you may not totally agree with all of the ideas in the manifesto, but there is much in it that would help to reverse the decline of wildlife. And this is something that we at Cornwall Wildlife Trust want too. We want to see, hear and feel the recovery of nature, on land, at sea, in the air, starting now, supported by local communities and businesses across Cornwall.

Chris Packham said: “This is a people’s manifesto – it’s not devised by the government, and we don’t have to wait for them to do something. We can do it ourselves.

“I want this manifesto to be a first draft to ignite public interest, so that people feel empowered to stand up and say ‘I’ve got ideas as well, and they work’. We know how to solve the problems, we just need to make it happen. If this manifesto can be a catalyst, I’d be delighted.”

The manifesto comes at a time when key legislation and government policies are being developed which will impact on the future prospects for Cornwall’s environment and wildlife and all the communities, businesses and other interests that depend on them. There is an Agriculture Bill, the possibility of a Fisheries Bill and an Environment Bill will also be launched later in 2018.

The Bills are being described as a once in a lifetime opportunity to get the right legislation to drive forward the recovery of nature on land and at sea and we are working hard locally and with other Wildlife Trusts across the country to influence those policies so to ensure they reverse the decline of nature.

And you can help us! As Chris Packham said “Our wildlife needs us – and it needs you more than ever” so keep an eye on our website and social media posts where, over the next few months, we’ll be asking you to get involved to show your support for wildlife to ensure that politicians in London feel the public pressure to reverse the decline in wildlife.



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