'Scared' wildlife charities unite over fears government will axe key laws

Activist and presenter Chris Packham (fourth from left) joins representatives from major national charities.

“It’s time to put the egos back in the box - this is about the future of our planet,” said conservationist and TV presenter Chris Packham.

He was speaking at a gathering of wildlife charities, which, in an extraordinary show of unity, have come together over fears the government is about to destroy long-standing environmental laws and regulations.

“When you see the RSPB, Wildlife Trust, National Trust - middle England NGOs - call upon their members to take more strident action, you know something is really hitting the fan,” said Chris Packham as he addressed the gathering in Hampshire.

The RSPB has 1.2 million members, says their executive director Emma Marsh.

“We are readying ourselves to respond to potentially the biggest attack on nature in a generation,” she told ITV News.

“We’re worried. We’re really scared and we don’t say that lightly. We don’t come out and say these things usually.”

Chris Packham calls for ministers to 'push' party politics aside

Liz Truss’ government has yet to outline precisely what their plans are for the environment but a government spokesperson said today: “Claims we intend to go back on our commitment to the environment are simply not right.

"We are committed to halting the decline of nature by 2030 and will not undermine our obligations to the environment in pursuit of growth.”

The RSPB's Emma Marsh breaks down why charities are 'really scared'

The charities took their message today to the constituency office of environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena. He wasn’t in to hear them personally but, despite his absence, the organisations still made their concerns known.

They intend to keep doing it because, as Debbie Tann, chief executive of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “Growth at all costs without a thought for the natural environment which supports us all, is a worrying prospect indeed.”