Category Archives: Natural environment

A less is more approach will be better for hill farmers and the environment

intext-blog-hill-farming
This post is by Tom Lancaster, head of land, seas and climate at the RSPB; Ellie Brodie, senior policy manager at The Wildlife Trusts; and Marcus Gilleard, senior policy programme manager at the National Trust.

 At a time when many in farming communities will be experiencing acute anxiety about what the future holds, the National Trust, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts have today published a new report looking at how to achieve a more profitable, resilient business model for hill farming, alongside a thriving natural environment. Read more

The State of Nature has shown us the problem, now we need legal action

intext_hedghog-stateof-nature_blogA comprehensive study of the state of the UK’s natural environment shows no let up in the decline of our natural world. Experts from more than 70 wildlife organisations have joined with government agencies to present the clearest picture to date of the health of our species across land and sea. It’s pretty grim.

No part of our precious ecosystem is untouched. Many of our most loved species are threatened, including hedgehogs, wild cats, hares, bats, butterflies and birds.

Read more

The government isn’t putting its money where its mouth is on the environment

Dormouse wikimedia commons_Danielle ShwarzThis post is by Alistair Taylor, senior policy officer at the RSPB.

The news that substantial areas of the Amazon rainforest have been set on fire crystallised opinion on the need for urgent and effective action to protect our environment and climate. Prime Minister Boris Johnson went as far as stating:

“In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.

Read more

A ‘can do’ attitude to environmental challenges must be part of Britain’s brighter future

natural england smallThis post is by Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England.

The prime minister was right to strike a note of optimism in his first speech to the country.

Environmental questions can seem relentlessly gloomy, with measures to cut pollution and recover the environment appearing like unaffordable sacrifices that get in the way of the real challenges. Read more

Tax breaks risk undermining new farm support policy

This post is by Miles King of People Need Nature.

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The current tax system operates against the sort of public benefit that the new agricultural policy established by Michael Gove is seeking to create. English landowners receive £2.4 billion a year in tax breaks for which there is little or no benefit to society. This amount of money is almost exactly the same as landowners receive in farm subsidies and it exposes a contradiction: although the system of providing payments to farmers is being fundamentally reformed, the tax breaks received will be untouched. Read more

Natural capital is the next horizon for green investors

fern smallThis post is by Guy Thompson, managing director of EnTrade, an online marketplace in ecosystem services. He was director of Green Alliance, 2004-06.

Last week, the FTSE re-labelled oil and gas as non-renewable energy and the National Trust renounced its fossil fuel shares, just as the government launched its Green Finance Strategy at the City’s third Green Finance Summit.  Whether this chain of events was serendipity or a rare masterstroke by Number 10 communications, the message to the financial sector is clear: the future is low carbon. Read more

Plans for new Rivers Authorities are flawed and threaten our environment

rivers smallThis post is by Tom Lancaster, acting head of land use policy at the RSPB.

The world of flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) is complex, and at times niche. But it is something that affects the lives of millions, and will become an increasingly pressing priority as the impacts of climate change get worse.

We all have a stake in the decisions to protect communities, businesses and nature from floods, whilst making the best use of the nation’s resources. They should be debated openly, both locally and nationally. Above all, managing flood risk should take place within a long term strategic framework, rigorously assessed to ensure maximum bang for our FCERM buck. Read more

The shackles need to come off our national parks to combat climate change

mam-tor-3600896_1920_Ian KelsallThis post is by Andrew McCloy, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority. He writes here in a personal capacity.

Melanie Haiken recently outlined the dire implications of climate change on North America’s national parks if drastic action isn’t taken soon. US parks are warming at twice the national average and, without significant action, the outlook for their fragile ecosystems and varied biodiversity is bleak. Iconic parks like Sequoia, Glacier Bay and Joshua Tree could lose their namesake features altogether. Read more

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