Family, health, relationships, jobs, education...there’s a lot of other things to worry about ahead of wetlands and wildlife.
But if our wetland wildlife is struggling, that means there’s something wrong with their environment and that affects us too. Our homes, hospitals, businesses and schools – everything in our lives - rely on the same water and air that our wildlife does.
Of all the natural places in the UK, our wetlands are the most essential to our lives. They feed the reservoirs that give our families drinking water and irrigate the farmlands that grow our families’ food.
Wetlands give all of us everything from medicines to building supplies and thousands of everyday items we take for granted. A pair of leather shoes for instance takes 8,000 litres of water, taken from our natural environment, for the manufacturing process and to support the unfortunate cow!
And nature brings us all together. Studies show that being amongst nature helps our children to relate to other children, and the tranquillity of natural watery places helps us to recover from illness faster.
Ourselves, wildlife and our natural environment are all interlinked. WWT’s Wetland Manifesto is about working together for an enjoyable day today, and a sustainable future tomorrow.
How you can help
We’re making every candidate in the 2015 general election aware of how important wetlands are to their constituency.
You can add your voice by contacting your local MP and letting her/him know how important nature and water is to you (find your local MP).
Here’s an example letter if you want help with what to say.
The Wetland Manifesto - we invite you to help create a UK where:
People feel connected to wetlands
- Everyone has easy access to wetlands, wherever they live, in urban and rural areas, so we can all enjoy these special places
- Outdoor learning about and in wetlands is available for all children, and is embedded in the National Curriculum
Our water is wisely managed
- Work with nature to alleviate flooding and drought, so that nature works for us
- Wide implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to benefit people and wildlife
Our wetlands are unpolluted
- Support landowners to install treatment wetlands to reduce pollution using natural processes
- Work together to reduce pollution and ensure polluters are held responsible for their actions
Reduce avoidable harm to our wetland wildlife
- Reduce deaths of waterbirds caused by humankind including avoidable disturbance, hitting power lines, lead poisoning and illegal killing
- Work with other rural employers to ensure the interests and health of wildlife are properly balanced and considered as we build a rural economy
The impact of invasive non-native species is reduced
- Tackle invasive species like freshwater plants that choke native plants of oxygen, light and nutrients, and promote native species as alternatives
- Ensure full implementation of the EU Regulation on invasive non-native species
Find out more:
- More great facts about what wetlands do for us all.
- How a wetland helped a school in London by solving its flooding problems.
- How WWT's newest wetland reserve is helping people in the South West cope with climate change.
- How wetlands can help farmers and land owners manage flooding and pollution from your land.
There are also lots of great research papers available on the internet, like this one, about the benefits that wetlands provide.