Comment: Poll for the planet

4 July 2016, Comments Comments Off on Comment: Poll for the planet

atkins comment - 1However we voted in the EU referendum, and whatever we feel about the result, at least we had the right to vote. Nature has no vote. Yet the result leaves UK nature under great threat.

But Christians acting together have a key role in defending it.


Many of our key environmental protections in the UK – on birds, habitats, as well as air pollution and water quality – originated as EU legislation. Even before the referendum, some senior politicians were seeking to water this down. The danger now is that, in departing the EU, we lose these protections.

So, what can we nature-loving Christians do?

We must pray for the protection of nature. We must use our democratic rights to help answer that prayer, urging legislation and action in favour of nature.

But we can offer much more. The referendum exposed deep divisions in UK society. Many have indicated that they voted to leave the EU as a protest vote – against perceived loss of identity, control, and being left behind in the economic race. In some extreme quarters this has expressed itself in racism.


Yet we know that access to a healthy environment and abundant nature is important for people’s well-being. Working alongside others on a practical project – from a developing a community nature reserve to conducting a church energy audit – strengthens relationships and builds unity.

With churches present in all communities up and down the land, containing people who voted both Remain and Leave, we can demonstrate love and unity by caring for God’s creation, with a positive impact for all – whatever their economic status, ethnicity, or faith. We can bring hope.

As a Christian conservation charity, A Rocha UK is committed to helping all people enjoy, nurture and defend the environment in whatever political context we live.

Andy Atkins, Chief Executive

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