This post is by Stewart Clarke, national specialist of freshwater, catchments & estuaries at the National Trust.
Whether it’s floods or drought, water is on the frontline of the climate crisis. This summer’s huge floods in Germany and Belgium, followed days later by those in central China once again prompted debate about managing floods and development in the floodplain. Whilst everyone seems to acknowledge the folly of building on floodplains, it still seems to happen, and we cannot avoid the fact that we already have lots of homes and infrastructure in these high risk places. So, while we must stop this type of development, we must also think carefully about how we use the remaining undeveloped parts of floodplain. In short, we need to think about floodplains in the UK differently.
There were a couple of charity stories in newspapers over the weekend. First, NCVO and Nottingham Trent University reported that 39 per cent of charities had deteriorating finances. Shop and visitor income is down; events have been cancelled; several months of face to face fundraising were lost during the lockdown. At the same time, 56 per cent expected a rising demand for their services. The minister for civil society accepts that some charities might have to close. Many will struggle to meet demand for their services.
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.
Earlier this month, three sector leaders talked about their hopes and aspirations for nature’s recovery and how coronavirus has affected them and their constituencies. Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, joined Green Alliance executive director Shaun Spiers for the latest in Green Alliance’s series of online events to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on the environment. Read more
This post is by Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust. A longer version was published by the Daily Telegraph.
Right now, the nation’s attention is rightly focused on dealing with the immediate and profound impact of Covid-19 on health, social fabric and livelihoods. But governments around the world are beginning to turn their thoughts to recovery. Read more
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
This post is by Matt Williams, public policy officer at the National Trust. A version of this piece will be posted on the Wildlife and Countryside Link blog.
As New Year’s resolutions go, the promises of the 25 year environment plan for England, launched on this day last year, were ambitious. One year on, how successful has the government been in sticking to its resolution to, for the first time, hand on the environment in a better state than it inherited it? Read more
A recent National Trust report highlights that it is difficult to measure the tangible social benefits of community energy but that doing so is worthwhile to encourage a shift in the policy landscape to support its uptake and innovation. One thing is clear: wherever you find successful community energy projects, you will see real benefits for the local area. Here are five areas where projects are adding value:
This post is by Tom Lancaster, senior policy officer at the RSPB, and Marcus Gilleard, senior policy programme manager at the National Trust.
For a couple of policy wonks on the Brexit front line, perspective can be hard to come by at times. So we’ve taken a few days to digest Michael Gove’s speech at last week’s Oxford Farming Conference and assess where it leaves us in our quest for a more sustainable farming and land management system.
This post is by Marcus Gilleard, senior external affairs adviser, National Trust. It is a version of an article first published on National Trust’s NT Places blog.
Nearly a year ago, the National Trust’s Director-General Helen Ghosh set out the basic principles on which we believed a post-Brexit system of support for UK farming should be developed. Since then, we’ve fleshed out our thinking and joined forces with other charities, as part of Greener UK, to help the UK and devolved governments develop their proposals. A core focus of our work remains the concept that public money should pay for the delivery of public goods. Read more