Monday, February 22, 2016

Watch this space !

With the ad nauseam news of the moment about BREXIT, different campaign groups and the individuals involved none of us are likely to be unaware of the impending Referendum on the 23rd June. But from an environmental viewpoint what might we lose if we do withdraw from the European Union ?   For me the Birds and Habitats Directive sits prominently at the forefront as something which surely is beneficial to our natural heritage.   But how can we evaluate as the electorate what benefits or losses lurk around the corner?

The answer might lie in the announcement made by RSPB that they are co-operating with WWT and the Wildlife Trusts to produce an impartial document weighing up the pro's and cons from an environmental and conservation  viewpoint of being an EU Member State or otherwise. This is due out in March and it's my belief that all people with an interest in wildlife and countryside should read it once it's available and weigh up the situation and what their own preferences are .

Sadly the current Tory Government has little empathy, interest or intention with a majority of conservation issues despite protestations to the contrary.  Just examine the fracking issue, the associated powers of Local Authorities  ( or otherwise on the issue ) to gain an insight into the arrogant and dismissive attitudes displayed by Government.  Consider George Osborne's oft repeated statement advocating a simplification of planning regulations in favour of economic development and the clear implications for our wildlife heritage as has already been highlighted by a few "skirmishes".  Would we be better off as an independent , sovereign nation in the light of these self serving declarations or would the long stop protection afforded our wildlife sites via EU legislation offer a more positive alternative ?   I don't know but I believe it's something we all need to think about and why the above document could be pivotal to the thinking of the many people who value our wildlife heritage.