Suffolk Wildlife Trust is urging people to help it build a vision for a wilder Suffolk as the charity hosts the county's first Nature Summit.
The summit, featuring a top line-up of speakers from the worlds of environmental campaigning and politics, will be held at DanceEast in Ipswich on Friday 7 June from 5pm.
Despite the best efforts of dedicated organisations, groups and individuals, wildlife and wild places in Suffolk continue to decline. Suffolk Wildlife Trust hopes the Nature Summit will act as a springboard to begin discussion and bring people together to think about what a wilder Suffolk could and should look like.
The Trust will be joined by top speakers in the fields of environmental campaigning, practice and politics, including a keynote speech from the Government's newly appointed Chair of Natural England Tony Juniper CBE. Also speaking will be Dr Amy-Jane Beer, whose recent contribution to Chris Packham's People's Manifesto for Wildlife, focused on inclusivity in conservation.
Environment Minster and Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey and Ipswich MP and Shadow Minister for Waste and Recycling Sandy Martin will be speaking about their constituency and ministerial roles.
The evening will be compered by BBC Radio Suffolk journalist, Jon Wright and also feature a panel of inspiring young environmentalists who will be taking to the stage to answer questions about their hopes for the natural world. Wider panel discussions will cover farming, urban wildlife, marine protection and plastic pollution.
In a twist on traditional summit proceedings, internationally renowned street artist ATM, who painted the giant hedgehog mural in Ipswich town centre, will be painting throughout the evening and seven-piece electric folk band Fishclaw will close the summit with a live set.
Find out more on the event webpage
How to attend
It is free to attend the Nature Summit but places must be booked. On booking, delegates will be asked to select two priorities for nature in Suffolk from the list below. The results will help shape the evening's discussions:
- Adopting nature-friendly farming practices
- Developing resilience to climate change by joining up landscapes (e.g. nature-friendly gardens, hedgerows, nature reserves and farmland)
- Improving our towns for wildlife
- Creating more opportunities for children and young people to enjoy and learn about the natural world
- Protecting our seas and marine wildlife
- Bringing more land under the protection of conservation organisations
- Limiting threats to wildlife and wild places by encouraging environmentally sensitive and sustainable development
- Other (please detail)
For people who can't make the summit but want to get involved by taking part in the nature priority survey, they can access it online here. The Trust also plans to live-stream the event via its Facebook page.