Devolved elections 2016 - Vote for Nature on 5th May

On Thursday 5th May, there will be elections to decide the makeup for the next four years of the Welsh and London Assemblies, and for the next five years in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Scottish Parliament. In London they will also determine who will be Mayor. Other cities, including Bristol, will also have mayoral elections.

In each of these administrations, decisions are taken that affect the natural world. And yet, until now, few aspiring politicians have acknowledged nature as a driver of human wellbeing, and the backbone of a sustainable economy. These elections give parties a chance to commit to its restoration. A healthy environment gives us food, shelter, water storage, pollution reduction, flood mitigation, carbon capture, crop pollination and coastal protection. It is also where we walk, talk, think, listen, see and rejuvenate. It is the place that keeps us healthy, happy and alive. And that’s what politicians need to understand.

To help, The Wildlife Trusts have developed five questions (see below) for the people who want your vote:


1. What is your plan for the restoration of wildlife?

Wildlife habitats and species need help. We want ambitious restoration targets and connection of natural green spaces to be set and achieved. This needs more resources and clear responsibilities. What will you do to ensure this happens?

2. Will you ensure at least 1% of the public health budget goes on accessible natural green spaces?

We want this sum spent creating and promoting the use of natural green spaces for all, as part of the NHS’ preventative and treatment-based healthcare.

3. What is your plan for outdoor learning in schools?

We want to see outdoor learning and caring for nature a key purpose for all schools. This is key to children’s development and their future.

4. How will you better protect and promote nature in local plans?

Local planning statements should map, protect and create areas for nature. We want wild places for people and nature in every neighbourhood.

5. How will you ensure a strong voice for nature within Government decisionmaking?

Government needs to be a strong leader when it comes to nature’s recovery. How will you ensure that all Government departments, including housing, transport and health, take commitments to nature seriously?

Want to know more?


You can find out more information on The Wildlife Trusts’ take on the different elections at individual Trusts’ webpages:

London – www.wildlondon.org.uk/mayor-london-2016
Wales – www.wtwales.org/voice-nature/nature-matters
Scotland – http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/what-we-do/policy-and-campaigns/2016-scottish-parliament-election/ 
Northern Ireland - http://www.ulsterwildlife.org/node/7195