General Election 2017 - What about the natural environment?

Adders Plot, Kingcombe Meadows © Tony Bates MBE

The snap general election on 8th June has come at a crucial time for wildlife and the next government will have to make some big decisions for the UK’s natural environment. 

Never before have the stakes for wildlife been so great, so DWT has joined forces with other leading environmental organisations (National Trust, RSPB & Devon Wildlife Trust) to share our passion: that thriving wildlife, healthy seas, clean air, unpolluted water and access to nature and wild places are fundamental to the well-being of our country and its residents and businesses.  We want to keep this at the top of the agenda where possible, and we need our supporters to help spread the word.   

What we stand for

Nature provides us with so much. Clean water, clean air, pollinated plants and protects us against flooding, all for free.  But these vital services are under huge pressure and nature is struggling.  In our lifetimes, nearly 60% of UK species have declined and 15% are at risk of extinction.  Yet it doesn’t have to be like this. There is now overwhelming evidence that working with nature saves money, makes us safer and improves our health.  The Wildlife trusts believe that people are part of nature; everything we value ultimately comes from it and everything we do has an impact on it.  We believe that each year, there should be more wildlife and more wild places, and people should become closer to nature.

It’s time to take action!

This election is particularly crucial to our aims and to our members - collectively over one million within the South West - as decisions made as the UK leaves the EU are likely to have a profound effect on our environment and the laws on which its protection relies. There is every opportunity that this could be for the better, the risk is that it is for the worse. Our organisations have no political affiliations but we are determined that nature should not be the forgotten issue and we are interested in what candidates of any party have to say about nature and the environment. To better understand what the candidates’ ambitions are for nature and the environment in the South West, we will be asking them for responses to the important questions below. In the coming days candidates will also be talking to you on your doorstops and in your streets. You can let them know how much wildlife matters to you, and ask them what they plan to do to help it thrive. Please share these with your family and friends who share your commitment to the natural world we all want to protect.

  1. What will you do to ensure our wildlife is protected and restored after Brexit?
  2. What will you do to ensure that wildlife thrives in our seas once more?
  3. What will you do to ensure we have new farming policies that support nature’s recovery?
  4. What will you do to make sure we move to a low carbon economy?

Click on the links to the left (or below on mobile) to read about the wildlife, the issues, and more about what you can do in the constituency you live in.

Read about how Simon Cripps, our CEO thinks we can make a difference in his blog here

Read the letter sent to the candidates in full here

You can follow our campaign on twitter by using the hashtag #GreenerSW. The public (and us) will be able to monitor responses and make our judgments about who to vote for accordingly, you can also follow the campaign at


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