Category Archives: Natural environment

The new England Tree Strategy has to be about more than numbers

This post is by Andrew Allen, lead policy advocate – land use at the Woodland Trust and John Deakin head of trees and woodlands at the National Trust.

The new England Tree Strategy, due later this year, must be more than a plan for planting bark covered carbon absorbing machines. Our trees and woods need a bold vision to expand, connect, restore and protect them so they are also good for nature, climate and people.

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Restoring unique Falkland Island peatlands could mean the islands store more carbon than they produce

This post is by Jonathan Ritson of the University of Manchester and Chris Evans of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Reaching net zero by 2050 will require a massive effort across all sectors; from decarbonising energy to changing modes of transport and the way we handle waste. With the scale of change required it is no wonder that there is also a focus on options for greenhouse gas removal in case the rate of decarbonisation is not fast enough. While greenhouse gas removal technologies have their own problems, like mitigation deterrence, discussed previously on this blog, some nature-based schemes also have a wealth of co-benefits which mean we really should be pursuing them anyway.

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We need to reset the role of ELMS

intext=-farmingThis post is by Guy Thompson, Group Director of Environmental Futures at Wessex Water, Managing Director of EnTrade, an online marketplace in accredited environmental services and a founding Director of Natural England.

The government’s commitment to restore the environment within a generation will depend on transformative change in land management. Over the last six months, the government has been consulting on the design of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, the principal lever by which it will deliver this transformation. Read more

Why we must keep the highest standard of water quality in the UK, even if it’s hard to do

in-RIVERThis post is by Dr Stewart Clarke, The National Trust’s national specialist on freshwater, catchments and estuary management.

There has been a sense of unease amongst those of us working for better rivers, lakes and estuaries this week. Sir James Bevan’s (Environment Agency CEO) speech at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry questioned the implementation, if not the ambition, of the EU Water Framework Directive which has provided a governance framework for managing and protecting our water bodies since 2000. Read more

Could the new planning proposals be an accidental recipe for accelerating nature’s decline?

intext-crest-blogThis post is by Kate Jennings, head of site conservation policy at RSPB

When it comes to how we protect nature one thing is absolutely clear: we need to do more. As the State of nature report says, the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries on earth, and the steps taken to protect the best and to restore the rest have simply failed to address the problem at anything like the scale needed. Read more

Five ideas to put sustainable food at the heart of a green recovery

intext-chickensThis piece is by Ruth Wescott, climate and nature emergency and sustainable fish cities co-ordinator at Sustain.

The public overwhelmingly wants a green recovery from Covid-19. Last month a report and poll from the UK’s Citizen’s Assemblies found that 80 per cent supported Covid recovery policies that bring the UK to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, findings supported by RSPB research Read more

Could digital tech cut food waste and tell us more about where our food comes from?

intext-van-foodAlong with the natural ecosystems that underpin it, our food system is a complex web of parts working to grow, manufacture and deliver food all over the world. In a previous blog I looked at the potential of digital technologies to link up these different parts to redirect surplus food and avoid waste. But could they also improve communication throughout the supply chain to prevent waste occurring in the first place? Read more

Good planning is vital to green recovery and tackling the biodiversity crisis

intext-badgerThis post is by Simon Marsh, head of nature protection at RSPB.

“Build, build, build”. If that means building quality homes in the right places with wildlife-rich green space on the doorstep, who could object? But with rumours swirling that speeding up the planning system means cutting back vital environmental protections, and with radical planning reforms proposed, it’s time to speak up for good planning. Read more

Conservation isn’t yet at the heart of Conservatism in this ‘New Deal’

small owlThe prime minister has announced an ‘infrastructure revolution’, as he promises to put jobs and infrastructure at the heart of the government’s economic growth strategy. Drawing comparisons with Roosevelt’s New Deal, the government promises to ‘unite and level up’ the country. Infrastructure projects are to be accelerated, with a National Infrastructure Strategy and wider reforms promised later this year. Read more

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