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"It’s unthinkable that we may lose even more of our wildlife when we can stop that happening."

Posted: Wednesday 31st May 2017 by General Election 2017

General Election, Helen TullochHelen Tulloch

In the latest of our General Election blog series, 27 year old Helen Tulloch looks at what nature means to her and why laws governing the environment need to be protected and enhanced.

When I was seven, my main concerns were climbing trees and pretending my bike was the pony I’d always wanted. I lived in a village in East Yorkshire and spent my time exploring the back fields and watching tadpoles turn in to frogs in our garden pond. I didn’t have much concept of our impact on nature or how it was protected. I just knew that it was near and that it was good. Being alone in nature was what gave me the biggest thrill; rather than feeling lost, I felt connected.

At 27, I live in a stifling city centre. Friends, family, boyfriends and jobs have all made it seem sensible for me to be here rather than somewhere greener. The wildlife I get to see on a daily basis consists of battle-scarred city pigeons pecking at each other on my flat’s balcony. But, 20 years on from cycling my noble steed around the East Yorkshire countryside, I can hop on a train and seek out those wild spaces again. When I do return to nature, it feels as if I’m coming up for air.

In the intervening generation, though, two things have happened. I have become far more aware of how we impact on our environment, but more importantly our wildlife has faced a greater and greater struggle. The 2016 State of Nature report concluded that the UK’s level of nature-depletion is among the highest in the world. 53% of UK species are in decline, and 165 are considered critically endangered and at risk of extinction. Worryingly, the report suggests that such overwhelming biodiversity loss may mean our ecosystems will not be able to support society’s needs.

I can choose to seek out nature. It’s unthinkable that we might be slowly taking that choice away from our future generations. It’s unthinkable that we may lose even more of our wildlife when there’s so much we can do to stop that from happening.

To set nature on a path to recovery within the next generation, action needs to be taken now. The general election provides an opportunity to make nature a priority for our country going forwards. We need to ensure that EU laws governing our environment are preserved in UK law. Not only that, but we need to strengthen our commitment to restoring nature with a new Environment Act. If we make the right moves now, our wildlife can thrive and society will reap the benefits.

To find out more about how you can take action for wildlife at the General Election, click here.
 

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