On 6th May 2021 the England local and mayoral elections will take place. If you are a constituent of one of the local authorities or combined authorities where candidates are up for election, you have the opportunity to vote for what matters to you. Senior Policy Officer, Natalie Le Brun, shares why speaking up now is crucial and we publish the letter Emma Marsh has sent to Sadiq Khan (and many more regional candidates) today (04/02/21). 

The planet is in the midst of a global climate and environmental emergency and the UK is no exception. A 2019 report on the State of Nature in Great Britain highlighted that of the 7,615 species found in England that were assessed, 13% are currently threatened with extinctionWe also know that only 14% of our waterways are in good ecological condition, important habitats are becoming increasingly fragmented, and protected sites continue to be mismanaged.  

The State of Nature report is only a small snapshot of the challenges our natural environment faces, and with the threat of climate change looming, we must act now. Not only can grassland, wetland, coastlines, peatland, and woodland provide shelter and food for iconic species such as the booming bittern, swifts, willow tits, and puffins; but it can also help us to lessen and adapt to the effects of a changing climate. 

We also know that the ability to access nature and greenspace close to home is a priority for most of us, and that access to nature has not fallen equally across society. With a growing recognition that access to nature plays a significant role in our health and wellbeing, now more than ever we need to protect it. 

We need local nature recovery to be put at the top of our leaders agendas, and this is a real opportunity for us to tell our local leaders that we want to see new and improved nature-rich greenspaces where we live.  

We have already asked mayoral candidates across England to fight for nature, including a set of actions they could take to support us towards greener and more nature rich areas.  

So now is the time to ask your Mayoral candidates, ‘What will you do for my community and the nature we love? We need their support, and we need green policies and local plans that help us to protect and enhance our environment. We need our local leaders to speak out for nature in our local areas, and advocate for change nationally, declaring ecological as well as climate emergencies.

Join us in raising your voice: https://e-activist.com/page/74026/action/1 

Emma Marsh writes to candidates 

This week RSPB England Director Emma Marsh wrote directly to mayoral candidates asking them to consider the current state of our environment, and the urgency to protect and enhance our green spaces and local wildlife in their manifestos. 

Here we have published the letter sent to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, just one example sent to 4 London candidates as well as candidates across the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Cambridge and Peterborough and other Combined Authorities (West Yorkshire, Tees Valley, Liverpool City Region, and the South West of England). If you’d like to see the letter sent to your local candidates, please email campaigns.england@rspb.org.uk

Read the letter to London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.