Chairman. Wait, what?

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Well, it certainly has been an interesting few days! Full of trepidation and excitement in equal measure. The main cause of which stems from the premature departure of Sam Manning, the visionary behind the #Wilder movement we have been trying to set up for the past few months. Sam has filled the role of chair wonderfully since the start, taking Wilder into the public eye on issues such as farm subsidies and overgrazing, yet, due to commitments elsewhere, has had to depart. Leaving a gaping void of responsibility which I have, rather hesitantly, agreed to fill.

The idea behind Wilder has always been simple and revolves around the fact that young people should have a stronger say on nationwide, political issues that affect them. And, of course, the wildlife that so many of us hold to heart. This something I firmly agree with, though I never thought I would end up taking a leading role in making it happen. Quite an ambitious task, and one that may well fall flat on its face, yet it never hurts to try right? While I also believe that despite the plethora of amazing young-peoples groups out there, that sometimes we need teeth, as opposed to notebooks. There seems to be an available niche for younger conservationists willing and able to dedicate time to tackling controversial issues. All of which, we hope, will be conducted in a blunt, honest, Avery-esque manner.

So, taking over the reigns of Wilder is indeed exciting and provides a rare chance, for me personally, to do something positive. The movement has already proven popular among young people sick and tired of watching nature take a back seat to greed, ignorance and financial gain. Though where we go next, however, is open to debate. I have already formed a committee of excellent young naturalist to help run the show, many of whom I know personally and are exceptionally dedicated to their craft. We have, as a group, decided on the topic of agricultural reform post-Brexit as a topic to tackle and are, at present, plotting our plan of attack.

Why agricultural reform? Well, as the #StateOfNature report shows, agricultural intensification is the single biggest threat to Britain’s embattled wildlife. And, while I am still not happy about our decision to leave the EU, there are some glaring problems with CAP that must be addressed. Brexit has provided us with a rare chance to overhaul the way we fund, support and manage farmers, as well as how farmers themselves operate, and I would like to see it seized on. And a campaign to incentivise wildlife conservation in any future debate regarding such legislation, launched with immediate effect. In keeping with our #LawsOfTheLand manifesto *gulps*

So, we have a large task ahead of us, and while it may seem utterly naive to believe a few young people can influence decisions of such magnitude, we stand prepared to try. And through the work of our committee and members, blood, sweat, tears and hopefully some help from those outside of Wilder, we look forward to bringing this issue to into the limelight.

Stay tuned for vision of #Wilder agricultural policy and future updates regarding our plans. We are aiming high!

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