NATURE-friendly farmers, planners, local authorities, wildlife experts and people who care about nature are being urged to give their views on new national farming and planning policies aimed at reversing reverse the decline of wildlife in Worcestershire and across England.
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK, is asking everyone who wants to see nature’s fortunes improve to act swiftly and respond to government consultations on farming and planning, which end in early May.
The consultations present a rare opportunity – the first in living memory – to influence the future of both national farming and planning policy and how these impact on nature in England.
Precious wild places and the species that depend on them have suffered catastrophic declines over the past 70 years – intensive farming and urbanisation have been major causes.
Colin Raven, director of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “We have 20 per cent of England’s remaining wildflower-rich meadows and some of the most important woodlands and wetlands in the West Midlands.
“Sadly, however, they sit in an increasingly impoverished and fragmented landscape where the impacts of intensive agriculture and development are constantly increasing.
“Taking steps to reverse past damage and limit future harm is essential if we wish to protect our most precious wildlife and continue to enjoy natural services like flood defence and pollution control that our countryside provides for us.”
More information about The Wildlife Trusts’ #ActSwiftly campaign can be found here www.wildlifetrusts.org/actswiftly. Swifts arrive back to the UK in late April and early May. The swift is a bird that needs towns and the countryside to nest and feed in; it is emblematic of the need for wildlife-rich habitats in both environments.