3 May UPDATE: The petitions was handed in to Owen Paterson on 3 May with 8,450 signatures collected in four weeks. Details on the Wildlife Trusts web site
The Wildlife Trusts have launched a national campaign, Save our Vanishing Grasslands, and are calling on Government to save remaining wildlife-rich grasslands and help farmers halt ‘catastrophic’ decline.
The campaign includes an e-petition aimed at Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, which is open for five weeks. Please sign it here
They have five actions they want from Government:
- Improve existing laws and policies and effectively enforce them – Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations need to be strengthened and grasslands should be given better protection through planning policy.
- Support wildlife-rich grasslands on farmland – Farmers should be fully rewarded for managing important grasslands (eg through farm environment schemes) and stronger requirements for protection should be attached to the direct payments all farmers receive from the public purse.
- Award statutory protection to more grassland sites that deserve it – Species-rich grassland sites that qualify should become protected SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) as quickly as possible.
- Set up a national grassland inventory – A new national inventory of important grasslands in England needs to be established with sustained monitoring of sites in the future.
- Restore more wildlife-rich grasslands – Grassland restoration projects delivered in partnership with landowners by local Wildlife Trusts, Plantlife and others should be encouraged and sustained.