Two and a half years on from the UK vote to leave the European Union, huge differences of opinion still exist about the nature of our future relationship with the EU.  

While the UK was and remains divided by the referendum, I felt then and still believe that we are united by our love of wildlife – millions of people watch programmes like Blue Planet, Dynasties or the Spring/Auntumn/Winter-watch series, visit nature reserves every year and, a staggering half a million people take part in Big Garden Birdwatch most years. 

New polling released today reinforces the view that there remains a remarkably strong consensus that the vote to leave the EU was not a vote to lower environmental standards.  YouGov research shows that 88% of people feel we have a shared responsibility to protect our environment while over half (63%) want stronger laws to protect our environment.  What's more, 68% would like to see an independent body set up in their country to enforce environmental laws.

As I wrote on Sunday - we know that our current system of laws, funding and enforcement is good but not sufficient to drive nature's recovery.  

Now, though we have a historic opportunity to create a different future. That's why the RSPB is developing a new campaign called Let Nature Sing. Part celebration of nature, part rallying cry for action, we shall urge governments across the UK to step up their ambitions and establish world-leading new laws that will drive nature's recovery – and in doing so, inspire other countries to act.  We are calling for:

  • Ambitious and binding targets for nature’s recovery, set in law, that politicians must meet.
  • Environmental laws that are strengthened, not weakened.
  • A reformed system of farm subsidies that rewards the way landowners manage their land, not just how much land they happen to have.
  • A world-leading, independent environmental watchdog or watchdogs to hold governments across the UK to account and ensure we leave our natural heritage in a far better state than we found it.
  • Continued cooperation with other countries to help save our shared nature and tackled shared challenges.

To find out more about what the RSPB is doing and how you can use your voice for nature, please visit our campaign pages here

Ben Andrew's image of a singing corn bunting (rspb-images.com)

Anonymous
    1. I agree with Alex M below. The seriousness and urgency of the issue demands much more than asking people to garden for wildlife, and indeed it's counter productive to suggest that's enough. Please RSPB  trust your members and supporters to join you in more meaningful campaigning - write letters to MPs, sign petitions etc, like you did for the EU Directives campaign. You boast of over 1 million voices for nature - please use us to make sure the message is heard.
  • Martin, I added my voice this morning, after I read about it on Mark Avery's blog, where he publicised it. After I registered I was asked to do such things as build a bug hotel, make a home for a hedgehog etc. I have not had a hedgehog wintering in my garden for 10 years, and it is overrunning  with help for local wildlife, if there is any. This is serious Martin, and I urge the RSPB to do more. Your requests to activist members are inadequate, and we can do much more. You can help us by thinking how you can help us as individuals without doing damage to the RSPB. I like the idea that you can join with other organisations on individual campaigns which gives you more cover but some of the million members realise the urgency of action and wish to do more that write to our MPs. In my case this is a particularly useless activity though I have done it. Please consider working with us in a more effective manner. I have a website at https://www.manifestoforwildlife.co.uk/ which suggests things we 'armchair activists' can do and how environmental charities such as the RSPB can help, with some pushing from individuals. You have acted today, but it is not enough. I have acted today. I and the others like me need help. Please consider how you can help us.