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Anglians challenge MPs to protect nature and wildlife

Last modified: 09 December 2014

Pair of turtle doves foraging

Image: RSPB - Frank Vargas

More than 56 nature and wildlife-lovers from the East of England join hundreds of others from around the country at Parliament Square in Westminster today to challenge MPs to act now to save nature by making commitments for wildlife and the environment in their 2015 election manifestos.

Jonny Rankin, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, travelled to London to take part in the Rally, and said:  “I‘m here to remind our MPs of nature’s universal importance.

“Taking my favourite bird, the Turtle Dove, this species alone has suffered a 96% decline over the last 30 years. It's vital that today's government is reminded whatever happens at the next General Election there will still be the same intent, the same passion and the same unrelenting care for nature.”

The Rally for Nature saw people from every corner of the UK join some of the country’s biggest conservation organisations in expressing their concerns over the state of the nation’s nature and wildlife, which a recent report found that 60 per cent of our species have declined in the last 50 years.

Gathering in front of the Houses of Parliament, attendees called on politicians to put nature and the environment at the centre of future decision-making by introducing a Nature and Wellbeing Act; make a commitment to defend existing legislation, which protects our most special places for nature; and put an end to wildlife crime.

The East of England is home to some of the UK’s rarest and most threatened wildlife, from Turtle Doves that breed in the farmland countryside, to fen orchids found in the region’s wetlands and slow worms on our heaths.

All of these creatures and the special places where they live, are facing dire threats to their survival, which they will only overcome with the help of firm political commitment to nature and action to save it.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said:  “Last week’s publication of the latest set of Defra UK Biodiversity Indicators revealed a mixed picture for nature and wildlife.  While some of the trends are improving others, particularly those covering the state of our species, are deteriorating.  Despite all this – and much more well-documented evidence that our beloved natural heritage is disappearing – nature and wildlife remain low on the political agenda. “Next May we will have a General Election and the political parties will be looking to win support.  This Rally for Nature is giving a people who care about nature the chance to tell their MP why it matters so much to all of us.  We hope they listen.”

The Rally was organised jointly by the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, the League Against Cruel Sports and nature conservationist, Dr Mark Avery, with the support of Butterfly Conservation, the Ramblers and the Mammal Society.

How you can help

We need nature. Join us, and ask your MP if their Party will Act for Nature, and commit to a Nature and Wellbeing Act in their election manifesto.

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