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Don't cut the life from our countryside - RSPB takes spending cuts message to minister's doorstep

Last modified: 24 August 2010

Posting the letter

posting the letter...

Image: The RSPB

Campaigners were out on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 August around the constituency of Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman.

Signs carrying the RSPB’s message appeared on banners in and around the town and on billboards erected in fields and at busy road junctions.  They were even pulled through the streets behind bicycles.

As Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman will decide which areas of Defra’s work will be sacrificed to meet the savings demanded of her.

Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said: “The government has a huge responsibility. They have to make meaningful cuts without harming vital services. We have been arguing very strongly that the natural environment is not the place to make swingeing cuts.”

In Caroline Spelman’s constituency cuts could hamper efforts to understand and tackle the problems affecting the River Blythe.

The river is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its plant and insect life but is classed as being in unfavourable condition due to invasive freshwater species such as the non-native Signal Crayfish and pollution from agricultural and urban run-off, which has lowered the water quality.  

The Environment Agency is charged with improving the Blythe and the 70 per cent of English water bodies that currently fail to meet European standards.

However, with cuts to the Agency’s budget all but inevitable, the picture does not look bright for our struggling river life.

Other events have been organised in the constituencies of The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and Cabinet Office minister, Oliver Letwin.

Dr Avery added: “Defra’s budget amounts to just half a penny out of every pound the Government spends, yet that modest investment brings huge returns in the form of wildlife, clean air and water, flood alleviation, carbon sequestration and pollination.

“Such things are beyond price and their loss would be too high a price to pay to balance the books.”

How you can help

If you feel passionately that we need to make decisions today that will safeguard nature into the future, then please sign the Letter to the Future and together we can make the world a richer place.

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