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
This post is by Patrick Begg, rural enterprise director at the National Trust.
At last week’s Conservative conference we saw and heard yet more evidence of Theresa May’s innate pragmatism. We’re to transpose all EU legislation, including those related to nature and the wider environment, into UK Law, buying us time to consider what we want, don’t want and what can be improved. It also keeps the show on the road and sustains current levels of protection at a time when uncertainty could have eroded confidence and the authority of those regulations. This sounds sensible and is probably the best we could have hoped for.
This post is by Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border. It is from a collection of essays: Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. There are similar collections published under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on ConservativeHome.
If you want to see why a conservative approach to environmental policy is necessary, consider the fate of Britain’s small upland farms. They are vanishing. Two thirds of our farmers and independent farms have been swept aside in the last few decades. As they disappear, the basic structure of rural life is being undermined: farmhouses are converted to expensive homes in empty valleys, where it is increasingly rare to see a farmer in a field. Read more
This is a guest post by Dame Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust and Green Alliance trustee. She gives her reaction as the final National Planning Policy Framework document is published by the government, following the influential campaign by the National Trust and others.
We’re all poring over the new, and final, National Planning Policy Framework. There are many nuances to be teased out and, in the end, only time will tell whether this is a document fit to shape England for the next 50 years. Read more