This century, English summers will become hotter and drier on the whole, putting stress on the wonderful wetland habitats that remain in our countryside.
Even if we do everything in our power to tackle climate change, further warming is inevitable. That's why the RSPB's ambitious efforts to restore wetlands are so important: they not only reverse decades of habitat loss, but help conserve and restore mosses, meres, rivers and lakes on which wildlife depends in the face of climate change. A new scheme called 'Lapwing Meadows' launched yesterday in north Shropshire, with just these goals. 'Lapwing Meadows' is a joint initiative by the RSPB, Environment Agency, Natural England and Shropshire Wildlife Trust to restore wetlands in the Meres and Mosses area of north Shropshire, funded by Natural England’s Wetland Vision Initiative. Our staff will work with Shropshire’s farmers and landowners to restore and recreate a range of wetland habitats across the landscape that will benefit the county’s breeding lapwings and other wading birds, including snipe, curlews and redshanks.'Lapwing Meadows' will initially target two areas, Baggy Moor, north-west of Shrewsbury, and Weald Moors, by Telford. It will contribute to the RSPB’s Futurescapes programme - a programme of landscape-scale conservation that aims to halt biodiversity loss in a changing climate and enable people to celebrate a healthy natural environment. It's one of the many such Futurescapes projects that we have underway to make the countryside fit for wildlife and people now and in a climate-changed future. Watch this space for more!
Climate and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband recently took aim at the climate sceptics aiming to discredit the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. We couldn't agree with Mr Miliband's point more. The latest controversies around the judgment of a few scientists involved in compiling climate data don't undermine the colossal amount of scientific data pointing in one direction: climate change is happening. Humankind can stop its reaching dangerous levels by slashing greenhouse gas emissions, fast.
While the saga plays on in the media, we suggest a more productive route. The RSPB invites you to join us, in the run-up to this Spring's general election, to focus on the real steps our society needs to take to build a low-carbon economy. Will you ask the prospective parliamentary candidates in your area what commitments they'll make to stop climate chaos if they're elected? Visit the RSPB's general election campaign pages for ideas, and an e-action that makes posing the question to candidates downright easy.
PS, if you want some pointers to how climate change is already affecting wildlife around the UK, visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/climate and for an authoritative guide to the climate science, visit http://www.metoffice/.gov.uk/climatechange/guide