A charity is calling on residents to support its urgent appeal to future MPs to ensure wildlife thrives.

The Cornish Wildlife Trust has launched its largest ever campaign, urging Cornwall’s next MPs to “fight for nature” by supporting its five manifesto asks related to the future of Cornwall’s nature and climate.

The organisation says the next government will be in power for most of the time between now and 2030, the date by which key environmental targets need to be met to tackle climate change and reverse the decline in nature. 

The Trust hopes that as many members of the public as possible across Cornwall will get behind their call to action by signing an open letter to keep the Duchy’s nature on the agenda.

Humpback whale (Rupert Kirkwood)

“We need urgent action,” declares the open letter. “Nature needs action so it can thrive once more. We’re calling on Cornwall’s next MPs to listen, do the right thing and use their influence in Parliament to drive change.”

Among the letter’s key asks are bringing back lost wildlife, tackling water pollution, and putting nature at the heart of the community. Cornwall Wildlife Trust hopes to secure at least 6,000 signatures to the open letter to demonstrate to politicians how much local people care about these issues.

The campaign launch video, voiced by 'Kernow King' Edward Rowe, calls for members of the public to "Take five (to) help wildlife thrive" by sparing five seconds to sign the open letter and put nature at the top of the agenda.

Many well-known spokespeople for Cornwall have already signed the open letter and voiced their support for Cornwall Wildlife Trust's election asks, including contemporary artist Kurt Jackson and novelist Patrick Gale.

The charity is also organising six nature and climate hustings, one in each of Cornwall’s parliamentary constituencies.

The hustings events will enable local people to learn about nature and climate issues, hear their candidates in the next general election speak on their planned approaches to them and ask questions about the things that matter to them. 

Take five. Help wildlife thrive (Cornwall Wildlife Trust)

Cheryl Marriott, Director of Nature and People at Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: “The years between now and 2030 are a vital window of opportunity for restoring nature and tackling and adapting to climate change. 

“The next parliament will be in power for most of that time; that makes this election the most important of our lifetimes as far as nature is concerned. 

“We need to give Cornwall’s wildlife a voice and show politicians of all parties that thousands of us will vote on the strength of nature and climate policies.”

Contemporary artist Kurt Jackson said: "I've signed Cornwall Wildlife Trust's open letter because daily, during my time making art outdoors in Cornwall, I notice the life around; the plants and animals that share these places with us. 

“For over 40 years depending on the location I have witnessed the complexity, richness or absence; constantly I am reminded of what we are losing and what we have lost. This natural world is precious and vital, we ultimately all rely on it.”

The open letter can be found and signed here: Sign the open letter | Cornwall Wildlife Trust

More information about the campaign, the open letter and local hustings can be found on Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s website at: https://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/general-election-2024-campaign