Simon's Blog - Do something now…

As manager of the staff team at the nationally designated Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) I had the opportunity to run a workshop at the excellent East Suffolk Partnership conference recently.

My workshop was on the stewardship of the natural environment and I was delighted that so many people signed up for it. I was equally delighted that they came from a variety of different backgrounds and not just the environment sector.

My opening comments about over 50% of wildlife species has been recorded as in decline for the period 1970-2016. The amount of farmland, forests, gardens and greenfield land lost to housing development each year increased by 58% over the past 4 years made people sit up.

During the participative element of the workshop there was an overwhelming feeling that we needed to do something. Not someone else, not a charity, not the council, not the Government, although it was recognised that all these needed to work towards improved stewardship of the environment. Participants recognised that they as individuals need to do something to help the environment.

There were some outstanding suggestions. Volunteer for an hour a month; Engage with young people about environment matters via a medium they use; Buy less stuff. Many were suggestions that we could do and would make a difference.

I was impressed with the suggestions but I was most heartened to know that so many other people, from many different walks of life, values the environment and understood that we need to do something to ensure future generations can enjoy it as much as we do.

I hope the AONBs can help meet this aspiration.

First published in the EADT Sat 24 November 2018.

By Cathy Smith on January 11th, 2019

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