Local people demand a green recovery and a wilder future for Hampshire and the Island.

Local people demand a green recovery and a wilder future for Hampshire and the Island.

Keyhaven Seawall & Lagoon, by Bob Chapman

As the Government is set to announce a raft of measures to put the UK’s economy on the road to recovery – including large scale investment in infrastructure – local people are calling on politicians to put nature at the heart of plans to ‘build back better’.

In a survey of almost 600 people, carried out by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, 98% agreed that the Government should follow a green economic model, that reduces pollution and helps combat the climate and nature crisis.   There was near unanimous support (99%) for governments to ensure that there are accessible green spaces in urban environments and new developments.  Furthermore, 97% agreed that steps should be taken to pressure the pressure on nature locally – such as leaving areas of parks and verges uncut and reducing pesticide use. 

Commenting on the findings, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “We know that this crisis has really brought home to people the importance of nature for health, wellbeing and our very survival. While we have witnessed some signs of nature enjoying the space to breathe over the past few weeks, we are acutely aware that the climate and ecological crises are still very much with us.

“Local people have sent a very clear message to governments and local politicians: We must ensure that, in the rush to rebuild our economy, we don’t let go of the vital fight to save our natural world.  There is a huge swell of support for a new normal that better balances the needs of people and planet.  We must all seize this moment to build a healthier, stronger and wilder future.” 

In response to the climate and ecological emergency, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust launched their ‘Wilder 2030’ plan at the end of last year, calling for a third of land and sea to be given for wildlife, as well as measures to reduce the pressure on nature in the wider countryside and urging many more people to take action for nature’s recovery. The Trust is now pushing for Green Recovery plans for the two counties, ensuring that investment is made in vital local natural resources.