I wrote this open letter for my column in the latest issue of Nature's Home magazine (which lands on doormats over the next fortnight).   Now that the manifestos have appeared (see here), it seemed timely to share with those that follow this blog.  And, if you are a member, I promise that the latest issue of Nature's Home magazine is a cracker.  If you are not a member, borrow a magazine from a neighbour, find out what you are missing and then please do consider joining.  Whatever you decide, in the run up to the election, please do use your voice for nature


Congratulations on your appointment as Environment Secretary – it’s got to be the best job in government!

You assume responsibility for saving our amazing nature at home, in our overseas territories and internationally. Yet, you are also facing a big challenge. Nature is in real trouble, the pressures on our natural resources are growing exponentially and unsustainably – and there is not much money to go around.

So, here is some friendly advice.

Be bold. Say that you will set out to restore nature to health within a generation, legislate for it and then come up with a sound five-year plan to get us moving in the right direction. Align your existing resources around this plan.

Be resilient. In office, you will have to cope with events outside of your control such as extreme weather events, the impact of non-native invasive species on our ecology, and diseases. Stay calm and trust your expert bodies to give you good advice and invest in their capability.

Be firm. Act in the public interest and stand up to those that seek private profit at the expense of nature. Choose which battles to fight around the cabinet table and convince the Treasury that it pays to invest in nature.

Be inspiring. We need a political leader who will offer hope that we can learn to live in harmony with nature. We’re here to help. We know what it takes to save nature and we have 125 years of practical experience with saving species and special places. We know how to grow food and recover farmland wildlife populations, how to fish without accidentally catching seabirds and how to build houses with nature in mind.

And finally, do take time to get out and see some wildlife. It will do you good. May the force of nature be with you.