National Park Societies take a stand against #AttackOnNature

At their Annual Conference in Snowdonia last month, the 12 National Park Societies of England and Wales signed a joint Declaration calling on their respective governments to give Protected Landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) their full backing in legislation. Now many of the societies are taking the next step, translating this declaration into clear campaign messages on their websites and social media, actively encouraging members and supporters to stand up to the Government’s #AttackOnNature.

One of our previous blogs talked about the Government’s proposals to boost growth by relaxing current planning restrictions and doing away with many vital environmental protections, in particular a proposal for new ‘investment zones’ for seven National Parks and 29 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With two of these zones already proposed for Cumbria, Friends of the Lake District have been quick to lead the charge in asking people to get involved and take action.

Kate Willshaw, policy officer at Friends of the Lake District said: “We felt that the threats to the Lake District of Investment Zones and the cancelling of European laws that protect our environment were so great that we had to do something immediately to let our members and supporters know how they could help raise this issue with their MPs and councillors.  We will be keeping the pressure up despite the change in Prime Minister and the cabinet as we are still very concerned that threats to the environment and climate change are not being taken seriously enough by the Government.”

Just last weekend, new Levelling Up Secretary of State Michael Gove confirmed to the media that his department is now reviewing investment zones, not least because he was worried they didn’t provide sufficient environmental protections. This is a step forward, and signifies that our campaigning is being heard, but we need firm commitments in policy.

With 78 environmental organisations now standing behind the #AttackOnNature campaign, including ourselves and our members, along with RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and CPRE, there are several ways you can pledge your support.

As the only national charity dedicated to protecting and improving the National Parks of England and Wales we invite you to directly support our campaign asking the Government to retain and strengthen the powers and protections for our National Parks so they can do more for nature. climate and people.

We also urge you to contact your MP as Kate explained above, and ask them to do whatever they can to ensure that the existing environmental legislation protecting our landscapes, supporting nature recovery and combating climate change – is retained.

You can contact your MP by email or letter or on Twitter. (Please use #AttackonNature in your Tweets)

Find your MP’s contact details here

Find your MP’s Twitter address here

Please sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our work in this area and we also encourage you to sign up to your local National Park Society’s newsletter so you can see how the Government’s proposals to relax environmental protection is affecting your landscape and how you can support.

John Ward, Chairman of Friends of the New Forest said: “We put the joint declaration on the News page of our website and within one day 80 of our members had responded to add their names in support of the declaration. We shall be continuing to ask our members to join in by contacting their MP urging the retention of environmental legislation protecting the New Forest.”