I've just sent Vince Cable an email and I am asking you to do the same, please.

In a quite breath-taking move, the coalition government has put all environmental regulation up for grabs in the 'Red Tape Challenge'.  Potentially this is 'Bye, bye' Wildlife and Countryside Act and 'Bye, bye' Climate Change Act.  Surely some mistake, here?

Even to refer to legislation like the Wildlife and Countryside Act as 'red tape' is to belittle the efforts of past nature conservationists and parliamentarians who carefully constructed this legislation which was widely welcomed at the time and whose aims and general thrust have rarely been questioned since.

Now it can't be the case that all existing regulation is perfect, that is very unlikely to be the case, and I can tell you now that it isn't (gasps of amazement).  However, to put absolutely everything on the table risks throwing out an awful lot of babies with a few drops of bath water.  And the Cabinet Office must know this - that Oliver Letwin is no fool. 

Please do act on this - Step up for Nature with the RSPB and make politicians see sense.

Regulation forms an important tool in the conservation kitbox and yet it is generally out of favour with all political parties at the moment.  Rather than saying 'No. this is wrong, don't do it' politicians reach for incentives, voluntary initiatives and other weak measures to try to make the world a better place.  It's a good job that sensible people passed laws to prevent kids being pushed up chimneys to clean them otherwise would we now face the 'Chimney cleaning operators' voluntary initiative to reduce by a few weeks the average age of young sweeps'?

If you feel as angry and worried about this move as I do then please act - and I see that 38 Degrees is giving you another opportunity to express your views here.



A love of the natural world demonstrates that a person is a cultured inhabitant of planet Earth.