The Wealden countryside is one of the most beautiful parts of the country. From the rolling hills of the South Downs to the charm of the Ashdown Forest, we are lucky to be surrounded by a diverse and vibrant environment.
Ensuring we pass on a clean and sustainable Wealden to the next generation has been a priority of mine since I was first elected. My postbag is regularly full of residents’ concerns on the environment, and it’s something which consistently comes up in my advice surgeries and when visiting Wealden schools.
Recent moves across the country to reduce carbon emissions, create new woodlands and habitats, and protect Britain’s bees and pollinators are all very welcome. Proposals for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles will help to keep litter off our streets, making us a world leader in recycling plastics which all too often end up in the ocean.
Locally, I’ve campaigned on keeping the recycling centres at Wadhurst and Forest Row open, community assets that are incredibly important to my constituents. I’ll continue to lobby to keep the recycling centres open, for the benefit of East Sussex residents and the Ashdown Forest.
Littering is a terrible blight on the health of our countryside, and it’s great to see Wealden District Council prosecuting and fining people for fly-tipping in the Ashdown Forest. Fly-tipping has many untold consequences, not only dirtying the environment but also causing problems for our farmers and food producers who make up the vibrant rural Wealden economy.
I recently welcomed the launch of a new rural crime reporting hotline by the National Farmers Union and CrimeStoppers. Rural crime, which can include fly-tipping, livestock worrying or machinery theft is on the rise, and I have been working with our farmers, local councils, the Government and the NFU to combat problems arising from rural crime.
The hotline is 0800 783 0137, or at www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk, and I would encourage anyone to use the it if they are at all suspicious of any potential rural crime, helping to rid this blight on our countryside, passing on a clean and sustainable environment to our children.