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General Election 2017: What we're asking London's parliamentary candidates

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Houses of Parliament (credit James Cracknell)Houses of Parliament (credit James Cracknell)

The snap General Election on 8th June is happening at a crucial time for wildlife. The next Government will have some big decisions to make for Britain’s natural environment – almost immediately.

Never before have the stakes for wildlife been so great. The majority of our environmental laws are currently wrapped up with our membership of the European Union (EU); and so are some really key policies that affect wildlife – agriculture, fisheries, and water quality.

In London, green spaces and wildlife face pressures greater than they have been for decades. While major improvements are being made to natural habitats such as rivers and woodlands, London’s growth has to be sustainably managed if we are to continue providing space for wildlife and offering the benefits green spaces bring to the millions who live, work and play here.

The rewards for making the right decisions would be great: a London and UK that is a world-leader on the environment with clean air, clear water, minimal greenhouse gas emissions, healthy seas, beautiful landscapes, and thriving wildlife, in the places we care about most. All this is fundamental to the wellbeing and prosperity of our own and future generations.

We know there is huge popular support for wildlife and the environment from people of all backgrounds. In a recent YouGov poll, 80% of people said they think Britain should have the same or stronger environmental protection after it leaves the EU.

London Wildlife Trust is asking all parties commit to:

  1. Nature's recovery in a generation. To achieve this will require us to transfer all current EU environmental laws into UK statute and ensure they are robustly enforced, and in England to go further to enact an Environment Act that restores the ecology of our rivers, farmland, soils and cities.
  2. Protection of our marine wildlife through a well enforced and complete network of marine protected areas in British seas – including the Thames Estuary – and a sustainable fisheries policies.
  3. New sustainable policies for our farmland to allow wildlife to thrive alongside food production. Taxpayer’s money should be invested in creating abundant wildlife, healthy soils, clean water, climate change mitigation and beautiful landscapes for the benefit of everyone.

Six questions to ask your parliamentary candidates in London:

Candidates will be talking to you on your doorsteps and in your streets over the next few weeks leading up to 8th June. You can let them know how much wildlife matters to you, and ask them what they plan to do to help it thrive.

  1. What will your party do to ensure our wildlife laws remain strong and to restore the damage done to nature – will you commit to an ambitious new Environment Act?
  2. Will you safeguard nature and wildlife in and around the capital by protecting and conserving London’s wildlife sites, the Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and the Blue Ribbon Network of rivers and waterways?
  3. What will your party do to ensure we have new farming policies to provide for nature’s recovery across Britain, and ensure payments to farmers are for positive environmental action?
  4. Will you support the full implementation of the London Environment Strategy, especially the All London Green Grid, to promote the design and delivery of ‘green infrastructure’ to benefit nature across London?
  5. What will your party do to ensure that wildlife thrives in our seas once more - will you make sure that more marine protected areas are designated and policed?
  6. Will you ensure the Hunting Act is not repealed?