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It's time to defend nature

Ten days ago I was privileged to be invited to join supporters and representatives of RSPB, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, like-minded local people, ecologists, conservationists and wildlife advocates to share views on the future of our natural world.

We've all heard about the worrying policy developments announced by the Government that threaten to remove vital environmental laws and relax rules that currently protect nature. Despite many thousands of people raising their concerns, there are still several serious unanswered questions about the Government's plans.

Debbie Tann, CEO of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Emma Marsh, Director of RSPB England and Chris Packham each spoke about the importance of the natural environment to our lives, businesses and communities and why we are calling on the Government to give nature the security it needs. The event was deliberately held at Bassets Mead Country Park near Hook which is in the heart of the constituency of our local MP and Secretary of State for the Environment, Ranil Jayawardena MP. Sadly, Ranil didn't respond to the invitation extended to him to join us.

I'm proud to know Chris Packham. He's a Hampshire resident and has been encouraging and supportive when it came to setting up North East Hampshire Badger Group. He's always determined, unflinching and relentlessly fighting for a better environment for you, me and our wildlife. You might have seen that as a follow-up to the Bassets Mead gathering he and others are organising a "People's Walk for Wildlife". It may just be in London or it may include marches in cities across the UK. Would I march with him against the current attack on nature resulting from poor Government policy? Count on it. I'm sure many of our Group would want to join us.

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