Herefordshire Wildlife Trust welcome announcement of ‘Ecological Emergency’ by Herefordshire Council

Following lobbying from Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire Council have now declared an Ecological Emergency, a year after declaring a Climate Emergency.

In the Council meeting of Friday (6th March), the charity’s Chief Executive Helen Stace asked the councillors to recognise that the county faces an ecological crisis, as well as a climate crisis.  We are pleased to hear that the Council accepted the suggestion and their website now reflects this position.  We are also pleased to welcome Councillor Ellie Chowns as Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust hopes that this new declaration will lead to changes in land use and management that address this crisis and make more room for wildlife in the county.

Helen Stace said: “we are very supportive of the work the council have been doing through their own Carbon Management Plan.  We are also represented on their new Countywide Carbon Working Group looking at broader ways of tackling the climate crisis, but we need to do more to address the ecological emergency.  We hope to work closely with the Council on natural flood management, improving water quality in our rivers and streams, improving our landscapes for wildlife through Nature Recovery Networks throughout the county, and doubling tree cover by 2030. 

We want to see local government setting a great example to encourage local organisations like ours and all the people who are doing their bit for wildlife and the environment at home.  Andrew Nixon, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust representative on the Countywide Carbon Working Group explains “We want to ensure that nature does not always simply lose out to industry, agriculture and new developments. But prioritising wildlife need not be a barrier to progress. A greener economy will benefit wildlife as well as bring economic benefits whether that’s from businesses finding innovative ways to operate sustainably or from green tourism.”

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have set our their aims in A 2020 Vision for Wildlife which calls on national and local government to make positive changes for the benefit of wildlife and wild places. The Trust manages 55 nature reserves which include wildflower meadows, ancient woodlands, traditional orchards and wetland sites, as well as running habitat restoration projects across the county. With over 5,000 members, they aim to be a voice for wildlife in the county.