I realise, I may polarise myself, but I doubt it really. Those who have read my blog so far, are nature lovers, right? If you love nature then I’m sure you already know that remaining within the EU is a no brainer. I hope.
It’s the day before everything might change and a strange unease has settled around our house. We are frightened because all the work over that last 30 years may be undone with the flick of a pen. There may be many arguments for ‘REMAIN’ but we are particularly concerned for the natural world, surely this is our legacy, we have a duty to care about what happens to our environment. If we don’t have eco-systems that work and are viable, then everything, including the human race, will pay the price.
All our protected species, our Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI’s) are underpinned by EU Nature Directives – there is already evidence to suggests that there is deregulation pressure in the UK, so what happens if we leave? I fear that nature and environment will be placed to back of the queue, replaced by higher production farming (yes, even more so than now), heavily polluted rivers, the reckless spraying of pesticides, the destruction of habitats and loss of funding for projects which are working hard to connect people with nature. Our raptors will be shot from the sky at an even higher rate than now, we will re-live the catastrophic bee decline that has been ‘rescued’ in current years by pesticide bans, beaches will lose their blue flags and salmon and trout populations will dissipate once more. I know I paint a bleak picture here, but my disillusionment with the current government means that I really do not think that our natural world will be protected. Starting from scratch with new negotiations, new legislations will take so long, all the good work that has been done will fall to the side and become relics of positivity and change in the making. I haven’t even mentioned climate change, that i could write 10 blogs about, this could be enormously accelerated if we leave the EU, I fear. We cannot tackle climate change as a small ‘nation’, that to me seems impossible, we need international help and support to do this.
In my home county of Fermanagh, I see every day the EU funding sign. A couple of weeks ago we climbed Culcaigh Mountain – through EU (amongst others) funding the Marble Arch Geopark have connected more and more people with what once was an inaccessible mountain. It is a beautiful climb, accompanied by meadow pipit and skylark song, the soaring wings of the buzzard and the beauty of rare orchids. Before the regeneration the blanket bog was endangered and almost past the point of return, now we can see it recovering and it is wonderful. Actually, the entire Geopark, including Marble Arch Caves, Lough Navar, Marlbank Reserve and Claddagh Glen are all protected with EU legisalation and funding. There are so many more examples that I haven’t mentioned here.
Today at school we had a mock referendum, I made my views abundantly clear. I speak out for my beliefs and my principles, I feel a sense of responsibilty towards the natural world – it has gven me so much joy, appreciation and knowledge, it is the right thing to do; to champion nature and wildlife. I was nervous when the ‘vote’ was counted, but I breathed a sigh of relief when the REMAIN vote was counted at 67%. If this is a prophecy of what will happen tomorrow, then I’ll be happy.
Please, if you haven’t made your mind up and you lilke to enjoy the natural world, visit wild places, climb mountains, marvel at beautiful bees, moths, butterflies and birds – think about nature when you place your vote. As I have said in my previous posts, ecosystems and the symbiotic relationships they share with species (including human) are crucial to their survival, even one imbalance will blur this perfection, let’s not injure what is still recovering.
Thank you for reading