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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Message from the Somerset Wildlife Trust,. Simon Nash CEO

I'm a member of the Somerset Wildlife Trust and I know how hard their job is to look after wildlife life in our lovely county and how difficult it is to to raise the funds to do the job as we would like it done. This letter has been sent to me as a member and I am happy to share it with you.

Dear Supporter

You know how unique, beautiful and precious our natural heritage is in Somerset. We have wonderful moors, a stunning coastline, rolling farmland, picturesque towns and villages with the added jewels of the unique wetlands in the Levels and Moors, Exmoor National Park and four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

And you will also know that we have an upcoming General Election on Thursday 8th June.  I’m passionate about securing a positive deal for the UK’s wildlife during the BREXIT negotiations and following our departure from the European Union. And in a recent YouGov poll, 80% people said they wanted stronger laws to protect our wildlife – so we know you care too.

This election is particularly crucial to Somerset’s wildlife because, as you are keenly aware, decisions made during the process of leaving the EU could have substantial impacts on the strong protections Somerset currently enjoys.  Agriculture and fisheries policies – currently developed at EU level – have also for many years provided a source of funding for farming that protects wildlife.

This election brings us an enormous opportunity to craft new domestic policies that could lead to a thriving countryside where farming and conservation work seamlessly together, and ensure that we continue to have an environment that is brilliant for wildlife and people.

Somerset Wildlife Trust wrote to all the candidates in Somerset asking what they will do for nature if elected on 8th June and in particular we asked for.
  • A ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas in UK seas including our Somerset coast.  
  • Action to ensure we are the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it.
  • New farming policies, where taxpayer’s money is invested in ways to deliver multiple benefits, including nature, healthy soils, clean water, climate change, natural flood management, and beautiful landscapes. 

Whether you attend a hustings, meet your candidates on the doorstep or contact them by letter, email or social media post, I would urge you to do the same, keeping in mind all that is special in Somerset.

This is fundamental to the well-being and prosperity of our own and future generations.

Please join us in holding our politicians to account.

Remember, Nature can’t vote but you can vote for nature.

Simon Nash, Chief Executive, Somerset Wildlife Trust