I believe we should actively intervene to restore habitats by creating nature corridors and restoring hedgerows, which are home to a wide variety of our native species.
The climate crisis is real, and I think we need bolder, swifter action to decarbonise our economy and to protect vulnerable habitats. It is also an ecological emergency, with our planet’s animals, birds and insect species in decline and their habitats under threat.
I am aware of the CPRE’s latest report, ‘Hedge fund: investing in hedgerows for climate, nature and the economy’, and its findings on the economic benefits of investing in hedgerow restoration.
The Government has said that it is committed to protecting hedgerows and that it will commit to a new, legally binding target on species abundance for 2030 which will aim to halt the decline of nature in England. It says it will set this following the agreement of global biodiversity targets in 2021.
In my view, we need ambition on rewilding, reforesting and our biodiversity targets. I believe that we should not only seek to halt the decline of nature but reverse it and aim for dramatic inclines in species abundance. I am concerned the Government is not acting quickly enough and I would like to see bold and ambitious targets on this ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November, including in the Government’s upcoming Green Paper on its approach to nature recovery in England.
Protecting biodiversity, halting the decline of nature and restoring habitats and wildlife should be priorities, not just because they are key to tackling the climate emergency, but also because it is intrinsically important to protect species and to ensure wildlife can be enjoyed by everyone.
I can assure you that I will continue to call for action to protect our hedgerows and the habitats they provide for our native species, and to scrutinise the Government’s two upcoming policy announcements in this area.