Category Archives: Natural environment

Natural England’s role will be essential post-Brexit

jurassic coast_chris parker via flickrThis post is by Andrew Sells, the outgoing chair of Natural England.

Natural England is an organisation that some thought – at various stages – was as endangered as some of the species we strive to protect. But as it prepares for life after the UK’s departure from the European Union, it has never been more important.

With my time at the helm now drawing to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on five years as chair of Natural England and the future for conservation. Read more

The pivotal year ahead for UK water management

water squareMost of us probably only think about our water company when we pay the bill, when there’s a hosepipe ban or when we see news stories about how much water bosses are getting paid. Labour’s proposal to renationalise the water industry highlights some of these popular concerns. With all this noise it is easy to forget that the water industry is a hugely significant player in environmental protection. Whatever the future ownership of the water industry looks like, we urgently need to improve the state of our waterways, increasing resilience and restoring nature. Read more

Chris Packham: don’t just moan, stand and be counted

chris packhamThis week, we interviewed the naturalist, nature photographer and author, Chris Packham, about his Walk for Wildlife which will take place in London on Saturday 22 September.

Q. The Walk for Wildlife is a great initiative but why are you doing it now? Why this moment?

I, and many others, have reached a critical point of frustration. We know from the State of Nature report that many habitats and species are in decline. I’m armed with an enormous repository of statistics which I felt I had normalised, and they were just going up. Every time a new survey is done the figures get worse. I sensed that it wasn’t just me feeling this way. There is a general groundswell of people thinking “we have to do something now”. Read more

The new Agriculture Bill has no vision for food

This post is by Tim Lang, professor of food policy, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London. It has also been published by the Food Research Collaboration.

Tomatoes production line bodyThe Agriculture Bill published last week was long awaited. It’s mostly about money: those £3.2bn Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies which will start evaporating in seven months.

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Why we should celebrate new farm support based on ‘public goods’

meadow-2503453_1920The long awaited agriculture bill has had a pretty resounding thumbs up from environmentalists.  Greener UK described it as “a huge step in the right direction”. Wildlife and Countryside Link called it “an important step forward for farming and wildlife”. WWF’s Tony Juniper tweeted: “For all of the 35 years I’ve been in conservation, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been one of the biggest threats to our wildlife & environment. Today I hope that the tanker begins to turn.” Others heralded “a landmark day” or said that Michael Gove had “fired the starting pistol for change”, or viewed it as “a welcome statement of intent about this Government’s future policy ambitions”. Read more

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