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.

  • sooty - thank you!

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

  • Think we will all miss you too Mark,unbelievable that you allow some including occasionally I hope to be so extremely rude and in the early days I commented more regularly as numbers were a bit scarce and now have seen the blog blossom with quite educated comments that are a bit above my down to earth thoughts so it is nice that those numbers are now contributing regularly and also the blog has perhaps become thankfully less controversial and deeper thinking.They perhaps are my thoughts and do not mean in a derogatory way,in fact rather pleased about it,well done.Always surprised at how you fitted everything in and now that you were doing a book at the same time,amazing.Hope the book goes well goes well it seems to have masses of things in it but do not bank on many sales from finding out who Sooty is as only one person stayed as serious friend after finding out.Just bought Dave Sextons book and absolutely full of information so if yours is full of information as well should go well after all you have often told us how powerful a membership of one million is so if they all buy your book you will be rich from royalties.O H suggesting now that us regular commenter's should get a cut but better make sure you know she has a weird sense of humour.    

  • trimbush - in a way, I'll miss you when I'm gone.  Unless, of course, you find me elsewhere in hyperspace and you can continue to make me smile at your rants.

    everyone else - I'll miss you too!  But in a different way.

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

  • Thank goodness not all of us in rural life think the same way