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Wildlife and Countryside Link News

Welcome to Link’s news - a roundup of what's happened in April. For updates from our working groups, please go to the policy hub. If you would like to submit news items for our monthly e-bulletin, please contact Jodie Le Marquand. To subscribe please enter your email at the bottom of the page.

April Top stories

Nature’s role in Covid-19 recovery and resilience-building

Link and its members are developing proposals that put nature front and centre of the national response to, and recovery from Covid-19. Doing so will spark social and economic renewal and build reliance against further crises. We will continue to make this case to decision makers, at a time of both risk and opportunity for the natural world – and our relationship with it.

Challenges and choices for the water environment

Everyday we rely on water to survive; to clean, spray, drink and wash. The way we treat water today will shape all of our futures and it is hugely important we have the policies and regulations in place to enhance resilience and ensure the water environment is protected for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Blueprint for Water welcomes the Environment Agency’s Challenges & Choices consultation, spanning a number of topics including invasive species, chemicals and plastics. To improve the way we treat water will require far better integration of water-related objectives into other policy areas such as agriculture, energy and land use planning. We must increasingly consider river systems as just that; systems, recognising the relationship of rivers with other parts of the freshwater environment, and the interrelationships between the multiple stresses that affect it.

Our detailed response follows on from our higher-level response in December. A huge thank you goes out to all members involved, resulting in us managing to create a collaborative and well thought out response, evident by the 23 signatories. The consultation deadline has now been extended to September. We encourage everyone to submit their feedback.

April Blogs & publications

With Covid-19 dominating the news headlines and our everyday lives, its no surprise this was the main topic of conversation for our Link blogs this month. We discussed the struggles faced by the third sector in this period of financial uncertainty with James Sawyer, Regional Director at IFAW’s blog, ‘the forgotten sector’.

Ellie Brodie and Tom Lancaster, from the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB, put forward Link and Greener UK’s position on what COVID-19 means for food, farming and nature. In many way, the impacts of the current crisis foreshadow those of crises expected to come from climate change and ecological decline, so the case for agricultural and wider food system reform to build our resilience is stronger now than ever.

We appreciated the little things and the opportunity to slow down and reconnect with the nature on our doorsteps. Tom Hunt, ALERC, used his blog to emphasise the special chance staying at home has given us to contribute to UK garden biodiversity records. Lastly, Andy Knott from League Against Cruel Sports wrote about the reduction of cars on our roads as an example and making lasting changes to our ways of life, post-Covid19, to allow wildlife to flourish.

Link blogs, publications and press releases this month:

The forgotten sector
At home with nature
eNGOs challenge Government to do more to avoid hamstrung environment mission
For wildlife’s sake, lets not get back to normal
Challenges & Choices – Link’s detailed submission
Huge nature, climate and wellbeing costs of corona
What Covid-19 means for food, farming and nature

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