About a month ago a group of independent experts , under the leadership of Chris Packham, published a People’s Manifesto for Wildlife.
Many of us have written to our MPs asking thenm for their views (not for a party politrical broadcast in favour of the current government) and those responses are slowly coming home to constituents.
The typical Labour MP is responding along these lines:
Thank you for contacting me about A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife. I agree that nature and the countryside can be hugely therapeutic and it is important that we protect the natural world for future generations.
The environmental challenges of today are of a different order to those faced in the past, and require a more comprehensive package of measures. The RSPB’s State of Nature Report outlined that the UK has lost significantly more nature over the long term than the global average and ranks amongst the most nature-depleted countries in the world.
I believe it is vital that we bring about the change needed to address the causes of environmental degradation.
We should look at how to improve the rules that give farmers responsibility to conserve, enhance and create safe habitats for birds, insects and other wild animals. I think more work should be done with farmers and foresters to promote biodiversity and encourage the growth of wildflowers. Through the creation of a blue belt, we can also protect habitats and species in our oceans.
I also believe we can do more to get children out and connected to the countryside. If children are engaged with the countryside at a young age, it is likely to stay with them as an interest for life.
As you may be aware, the Environment Secretary has pledged to consider the manifesto. I hope the Government will recognise the effort and expertise that has gone into it and listen to the concerns that it raises about our natural environment.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this very important issue and for sharing your views.
So, a generally warm but largely uncommitted response.
Not one to make you think ‘I must vote Labour because of the party’s passion for nature’ but better than some off-hand rejection by many Tory MPs – perhaps.