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Brexit and Nature

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Posted: Tuesday 14th March 2017 by WildBlog

by Sarah Moore, Director of Fundraising, Membership and Communications

I don’t know about you, but it feels to me there is a lot of doom and gloom in the world right now. So, with the sun shining and a big blue sky greeting me on Saturday morning I headed out into the woods to clear my head and give myself a nature fix.

As I marched up to the top of Troopers Hill nature reserve in St George, I noticed spring blossom on the trees, heard birds calling, and spotted early daffodils. It felt like spring is on the way. The view from the top of Troopers Hill is one of the best in Bristol and it's always astounding to see the city stretched out until it meets the green of the Mendips.

What always strikes me is that across Bristol there is so much green to see. I love living here for this reason – no matter where you are in the city there is always a green or wild place nearby.

But the future for these green spaces is not clear. At some point this month the Government will action Article 50 to begin Brexit. Many of the laws that protect wildlife in the UK come from the EU, and leaving Europe will mean we lose 6,000 pieces of legislation that are specifically designed to protect nature in the UK. These laws help to reduce air pollution, keep our seas clean, and protect the habitats and landscapes that our birds, bees and other wildlife all rely on.

Sitting on top of Troopers Hill, I want to know that this view will be here for my children and their children to enjoy. Thankfully many environmental organisations in the UK including RSPB, Friends of the Earth and The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with the Government to make sure these laws are secured. In some cases, we hope to make laws stronger so nature will thrive into the future.

But this all feels a bit far away from my wind-blown vista under the Troopers Hill chimney, once the site of an old tin mine. The history here is an important part of Bristol’s past, and this green space is well loved by the local community: the Friends of Troopers Hill are regularly out keeping the reserve in top condition. These ambassadors for local wildlife are so important. They remind us we can all play a role as champions of the wild places on our doorstep. It is the sum of these small actions that will make a big difference in protecting nature for our children to enjoy.

Last week, Avon Wildlife Trust led a meeting of many leading nature and environmental organisations in Bristol to discuss how we can protect local nature and wildlife effectively after Brexit. Alongside local ambassadors and nature champions, we need to help more people take action for local wildlife. Everything makes a difference - why not volunteer with us for a day to find out more about how you can help your local wilds?

Greener UK is a coalition of 13 major environmental organisations - including The Wildlife Trusts - working together to urge the Government to take urgent steps for nature. They are asking  MPs to sign a Pledge for the Environment. See which local MPs have signed here and do contact your MP to show how much you care about this issue. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here

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