Devon Wildlife Trust and RSPB are today calling on voters to ask their prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) about how they plan to restore nature in the West Country.

In an unusual move the two leading nature charities will be riding into Plymouth on a special campaign bicycle carrying a billboard with a ‘unique and wild’ election message. They will be cycling through the city between 10.00am - 3.00pm so if you see them, give them a smile!

Nick Bruce White, RSPB Regional Director, said: “We know that nature is close to the heart of people here in the West Country, with both our organisations having tens of thousands of supporters locally. We urge people to talk to election candidates of all parties about nature, how important it is to them and how if elected they will make sure it protected and restored.”

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust Chief Executive said: “Wildlife and wild places are critical to the health, welfare and prosperity of people in the South West. The debate around the future of wildlife cannot be allowed to go missing from this crucial general election. Today we are asking that people don’t let their candidates forget nature.”

The campaign’s novel use of a bike-powered billboard stemmed from a passion for cycling shared by both charities’ chief officers.

Harry Barton said: “We wanted a way to reach people, and pedal power fits perfectly with the ethos of each of our organisations.”

Devon Wildlife Trust and RSPB are asking voters to raise four key specific issues with their PPC:

1. What will your party do to ensure our wildlife laws remain strong and that steps are taken to restore the damage we have done to nature?

2. What will your party do to ensure that wildlife thrives in our seas once more?

3. What will your party do to ensure we have new farming policies in each part of the UK to provide for nature’s recovery?

4. What will your party do to make sure we move to a low carbon economy?

The bike’s campaign billboard leads with the slogan ‘The real losers in the polls’, before asking voters to ‘Let your election candidates know how much nature means to you’. The billboard also states that 56% of the UK’s wildlife is in decline, a figure that headlined the recent State of Nature report which was published in 2016.

RSPB and Devon Wildlife Trust are asking people to find out more about why this general election is so crucial to the future of the region’s wildlife by visiting a special election webpage and joining the debate on social media using the hashtag #GreenerSW.


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