Nature – Strong Environmental Bill 4/19

Thank you for your email about nature recovery in the UK. The decision to leave the European Union has created an historic opportunity to deliver a green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced. The Environment Bill includes draft proposals for a new, world-leading system of environmental governance. It is important to remember that these draft sections form just one part of a broader Bill that will take direct action on the biggest environmental priorities of our age. It will put environmental ambition and accountability at the very heart of government, and deliver on the commitment to leave the natural world in a better condition than we found it.

In the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government committed to developing a Nature Recovery Network - an expanding and increasingly connected network of places for wildlife - and, in the long term, to create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected site series. This network will more effectively link existing protected sites and landscapes, as well as urban green and blue infrastructure. There are many exciting landscape-scale initiatives to build on when developing the Nature Recovery Network, including the farmer cluster, where farmers work cooperatively with organisations such as the Game and Wildlife Trust, Natural England and local community groups to create new nature networks.

Defra is also developing an Environmental Land Management system that will help deliver the wildlife goals in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Natural England is working with landowners and conservation groups on the 'Back from the Brink' programme, which aims to save 20 species from extinction.

I believe it is important to protect wildlife across the country and I am pleased that the Government is committed to being the UK's greenest ever. I am encouraged that action is being taken to protect wildlife sites and to restore and create wildlife-rich habitats, and that investment is being made to aid species recovery.