Avon Wildlife Trust are delighted at North Somerset Council’s recent Declaration of an Ecological Emergency

Common carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) foraging on Verbenum flowers (Verbenum bonariensis) in Wiltshire garden, UK, September. - Nick Upton/2020VISION

North Somerset Council’s declaration of an Ecological Emergency at their Council meeting on Tuesday 10 November signals another positive step for nature and wildlife in Avon.

Avon Wildlife Trust has been calling on Councils across the West of England to declare an ecological emergency and take urgent action to reverse declines in wildlife and restore the natural systems on which we all depend. 

North Somerset Council’s declaration recognises that the survival of our society and economy depends absolutely on the health of the natural environment and ecosystems and identifies a wide range of causes of the ecological emergency, including pollution, urbanisation, hydrological change, the proliferation of invasive species, and poor practices in agriculture, woodland management and fishing. It sets out the approach the Council will take to resist destruction of habitats, enrich the environment and increase biodiversity, including through planning policy, development management and collaborative action.

This declaration follows North Somerset Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in February 2019. It recognises that the climate and ecological emergencies are linked as they are both the result of over-exploitation of the earth’s resources and poor land management and resolves to tackle the “climate and nature emergencies” together.

Action on these twin emergencies will aid in nature’s recovery in North Somerset and the surrounding area and we look forward to working with the North Somerset Council to improve the natural environment for the benefit of wildlife, climate and people.

Councillor Robert Payne from North Somerset Council said:|

“It is clear that our wildlife is dying out, and it’s principally down to human activity.  The destruction of species and their habitats is not only devastating for them, but also for our society and economy, which depend absolutely on wildlife, including insects and other pollinators, for our food and water supply.  I don’t believe it’s too late to turn things around, but we all have to commit to changing the way we deal with nature.  It’s for the council to take a lead in our area and within our communities, working with partners, to protect and restore wildlife habitats.”

Avon Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Ian Barrett, said:

“I am delighted that North Somerset Council has declared an ecological emergency and is taking action to address the climate and nature emergencies. There is growing recognition of the severity of the crisis, with massive loss of wildlife accelerating worldwide. Fortunately, it’s not too late to take action. There is massive potential to restore habitats in North Somerset from the wetlands of the North Somerset Levels, to the woods and meadows of the Mendip Hills and Cleeve Ridge. Improving habitats in these areas can make space for nature, lock up carbon and reduce pollution. We look forward to working with North Somerset Council to realise this potential and bring back the abundance of wildlife.”

Bringing Wildlife Back

It’s not too late to bring wildlife back to our towns, cities and green spaces. By working together we can connect up our landscape through nature recovery networks and restore wildlife-rich spaces in our region to help nature recover on a grand scale.

You can help by donating to our ecological emergency appeal here.