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I want a more positive approach to conservation.
The State of Nature report shows the UK urgently needs a new approach to conservation. I recognise that we must help our wildlife thrive where most of it lives – in the hedges and fields of our beautiful countryside – sitting alongside other ways we use our land.
For a hundred years the focus has been on building small pockets of nature reserves, which have done and continue to do vital work, but the numbers show this will never be enough to reverse declines. The lessons of the past must inform the future.
To achieve a national recovery on our small busy island, I want conservation to embrace a more positive approach – one that empowers those with a detailed knowledge of their own land to make a long-term commitment to conservation and embrace the views of the local community.
I call on conservationists across the UK to work together with all those that manage our countryside. Working alongside each other to deliver success on a scale never seen before, with the common goal of a thriving countryside.
I recognise that each field is different from the next so solutions can be complex. I don’t want self-defeating red tape that limits and demotivates those trying to make the right decisions for wildlife on their land. Over centuries we have changed our countryside, and we must be prepared to change too.
Some species are thriving, others not. Where there is imbalance or conflict I believe we must intervene – not walk away. It’s up to us to help those prepared to work for wildlife in our wider countryside.
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