THE CHAIR of the Conservative party recently visited Whitminster as part of a nature walkabout.

Tory chairman Richard Holden and Siobhan Baillie MP met with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust CEO Andrew McLaughlin and ecosystem recovery manager Anna Tarbet.

The group went on a walk around the canal near the Fromebridge Mill to view the work the trust is undertaking to protect and enhance the area’s natural environment.

Mr McLaughlin said: “Nature in the UK is in crisis, so it was a good opportunity to meet with Siobhan to hear her thoughts and share our perspective on the need for a clear and coherent plan that will help nature recover in Gloucestershire and beyond. 

“With an upcoming election and thoughts no-doubt turning to manifesto commitments, it’s essential for us to meet with MPs and PPCs across the spectrum, to engage as many people as possible with the need for more urgent action on the nature and climate emergencies.”

Ms Baillie said: “I remain committed to supporting the trust in its brilliant work in safeguarding our county’s natural environment, not least as they work so closely with the Cotswold Canal Trust.  

“It is important that the new legislation in Environment and Agriculture Acts can be used locally to make that happen by working with farmers and landowners alongside grants from government to the trust and others.

“To ensure we are on the government’s radar, having cabinet ministers visit to see the work first-hand is helpful.  

“I thank the trust for inviting myself and the chairman to Fromebridge Mill.”

Mr Holden added: "It was fantastic to be able to drop-in and visit my colleague Siobhan Baillie and meet with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's CEO, Andrew McLaughlin. 

“It was a real pleasure to take a walk around Gloucestershire's beautiful countryside and to be able to see first-hand the excellent work the trust is doing locally to grow and protect Gloucestershire's wild places for everyone to enjoy."

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