Mayor must leave a wildlife legacy

Date published: 20 April 2017

Environmental charities are uniting to insist that nature is at the top of the agenda for candidates in the race to be Mayor of Greater Manchester.

The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the National Trust have the backing of more than 180,000 members as they demand a better deal for wildlife in a Manifesto for Nature.

They are asking that the new mayor ensures that the natural environment is in a better place when their term ends than it is now.

Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, Anne Selby said: “It is clear that our natural environment is under continual threat and erosion, despite increasing evidence that the invisible value of the natural environment is huge.

“It supports a healthy population, it adds to housing values, it purifies air, provides pollination for our food, can help control flooding, on top of its own intrinsic value.

“The overwhelming concerns raised about the greenspace of the city region within the responses to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework show this is a matter of importance to the people.”

Greater Manchester has been selected to be an Urban Pioneer for the Government’s new 25-year Environment Plan, which aims to leave the natural world in a better place than we found it for the benefit of future generations.

Ms Selby said: “We ask that the mayoral candidates make this a key part of their promise to Greater Manchester.”

The charities want candidates to recognise that encouraging people to embrace nature will help to improve health and well-being. This includes ensuring children and young people have better access to the outdoors, places like nature reserves.

The Manifesto for Nature also seeks to help protect the city’s 500 wildlife sites and everything that lives in them and encourages people to improve their gardens for wildlife and become interested in recording wildlife in Greater Manchester.

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