Guest blog by Roisin Beck-Taylor, Project Manager - Policy Climate Change Task and Finish Group and Brittany Mulhearn, Senior Campaigner

From lobbying government for new climate polices to helping our nature reserves cope with the effects of climate change, the RSPB is working hard to make a difference.

We are seeing the impacts of extreme weather events caused by climate change on the people and places we love both here in the UK and abroad. The time is now to do everything we can to protect them. Climate change is the fight of our lifetime, but in order to solve the climate crisis, we must also tackle the nature crisis.

Cattle at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Nature Reserve. Image: Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)

This year, we in the UK have a huge opportunity to raise the ambition of plans to tackle climate change and nature loss at home and abroad. The UK is hosting a major UN climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow this November. This means parliament and local authorities alike want to be seen as ambitious in tackling climate change.

Farming is part of the solution

Farmers are uniquely positioned as land managers to embed nature-based solutions practices to not only reap the benefits of carbon storage, but biodiversity and a variety of other benefits like flood defence, improved soil quality, and increasing the resilience of farm businesses.

In the run up to this pivotal global event we are asking for your help. By showing us how you are doing your bit for nature and climate, you can join the millions of others in demanding politicians do more too.

1. Roll your sleeves up: help create better and more connected greenspaces near you

  • Increase grass and margins which is not only great for pollinators, and acts as natural pest control but is also a good form of carbon sequestration
  • Expand your hedgerows for habitat and carbon, cutting on a three-year rotation
  • Create buffer zones along waterways with suitable vegetation, sequestering carbon, safeguarding water quality and creating habitat pathways
  • Establish trees and shrubs using native trees in suitable habitats, encouraging natural regeneration in unproductive areas.

(Visit Farm Wildlife for more ideas, including six key actions to help wildlife on the farm developed by a partnership of nature and farming organisations). 

2. Create more nature: by lobbying local decision makers

  • Join an organisation like the Nature Friendly Farming Network to build strong networks of farmers working for nature and agriculture and encourage others to employ nature-based solutions to climate change on their land. Demonstrate good practice, share knowledge and showcase the ways in which farming can be good for nature, climate and community.

3. Shout louder: Tell your politicians to step up

  • Reach out to your local MP and tell them about the work you’re doing and why biodiversity in our communities is as important as keeping carbon in the ground. Tell them to step up for nature in their constituency by ensuring that the right tree is planted in the right place, e.g. native trees in suitable habitats. Talk to them about the benefits of nature-based solutions not just for carbon, but for nature, mental health in their communities and for climate adaptation like flood prevention and keeping cities and towns cool as UK temperatures increase

4. Come together: Join events during Great Big Green week 18th-26th September and the join us for a Global Day of Action at COP26 on 6th November

  • Speak up and showcase the amazing nature friendly work you’re doing on social media. Share the nature on your land and the benefits to you and your farm not just for nature but your land, your wellbeing and your community.

5. Tell us about it!

  • If you are already taking steps for nature or want to do more, we want to hear about it. If you take part in any of the above activity, get in touch via email (brittany.mulhearn@rspb.org.uk) and share your stories about how farming is making a difference to nature in your community. Together we can show the UK Government and world leaders that it is time for them to get serious about saving nature!
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