By Henri Brocklebank
Director of Conservation
Urgent Call to Action
Sussex Wildlife Trust is calling on nature-friendly farmers, planners, local authorities, wildlife experts and people who care about nature to seize a unique opportunity for new national farming and planning policies to reverse the decline of wildlife in our county.
But, if you want to see nature’s fortunes improve you will need to act swiftly and respond to government consultations on farming and planning which end in early May says Henri Brocklebank, Director of Conservation at Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Henri Brocklebank, said ‘Housing numbers planned for Sussex are eye watering. There is only one way that this level of development can be sustained to avoid irreparably damage to Sussex wildlife and that is through a strong planning policy framework that has the natural environment embedded thoughtfully and intelligently into it.
‘The consultations present a very rare opportunity – the first in living memory – to influence the future of both national farming and planning policy and how these impact on nature in Sussex and throughout England. Precious wild places and the species that depend on them have suffered catastrophic declines over the past 70 years – intensive farming and urbanisation have been major causes. Now local people have a chance to call for a visionary approach to the environment – one that means planning rules and farm support and regulation work together towards the recovery of nature and wildlife.
‘The government needs to know that people care about these issues.
Please respond to the consultations. Some of us will be completing detailed responses, but a simple email or postcard response also shows our decision makers what you want.’
Please write to the government at this critical moment and before 8 May to ask for wildlife to be taken more seriously in planning decisions – with thousands of homes planned in Sussex in the next five years this is crucial.
We also need to call for protection with specific reference for Local Wildlife Sites to be reinstated.
Please make your feelings known on agricultural policy - at least 65% of our Sussex landscape is farmed.Decisions at a farm level have a huge impact on the natural world and farmers should be rewarded by the tax payer if their work benefits our society as a whole.
More information about Sussex Wildlife Trusts’ Call to Action and how you can help can be found here: sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/actswiftly