Maria Miller MP supports Wildlife Trust’s ideas for “Wilder Basingstoke”

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller met up with Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, to hear about the Trust’s ideas for creating a wilder Hampshire and Isle of Wight. The Trust has published a range of ideas and actions, to stimulate debate and discussion, as part of the development of its strategy up to 20130.
Maria heard how more than half of all species are in decline and, with housing development across the county, action is needed to reverse the decline and allow nature to thrive. The Wildlife Trust wants to work with planners, developers and local authorities to ensure that nature gains rather than loses from development, by making net biodiversity gain a requirement. They are also calling for a strong new Environment Act.
The Wildlife Trust is highlighting that change can also be effected at a local level by more people appreciating nature and the environment, and taking small steps to improve it, like growing plants that attract bees, putting up a bird box, or using less plastic. They also want to explore ways to make the county wilder, with more wildlife-friendly spaces, which are bigger, better and more joined up, to create a nature recovery network.
Maria commented: “It was great to meet up with Debbie again and hear about the Trust’s exciting vision for a wilder Hampshire, and to discuss how we could take forward the idea in Basingstoke.”
“I was really interesting in the Trust’s ideas about encouraging residents in local communities to take small steps to improve their environment to enable nature to thrive. Basingstoke is a great place to live, and with high levels of housebuilding, we need to make sure we keep it that way. We are fortunate to have so many volunteers in Basingstoke who are committed to protecting and enhancing our environment. But we need to do more - small actions can make a huge difference and every individual has a part to play.”