Speaking from Delamere Forest in Cheshire earlier today, George Eustice, the Environment Secretary for the UK government announced his plans to protect and restore nature, tackle the climate and biodiversity crises and help deliver Net Zero by 2050.
Mr Eustice committed to:
- amending the Environment Bill to include a legally binding target for species for 2030, aiming to halt the decline of nature;
- setting out a framework to improve the management, protection and restoration of upland and lowland peatlands;
- the creation of a new task force to take forward work on reintroducing mammals which have been lost from Britain, such as the wildcat and to return species such as beavers to new areas of the nation;
- a peat sale ban and extensive tree planting/woodland management proposals.
This news could not have come soon enough. Britain’s wildlife is recognised as being some of the most depleted in the world, with almost half in long term decline (State of Nature Report 2019) and one quarter of our native mammal species at risk of becoming extinct (Red List for Britain’s Mammals).
The setting of legally binding targets such is those announced today is essential if we are to stand a chance of ensuring nature’s recovery.
We will await the detailed proposals which will follow but look forward to working with the Government and others to deliver a brighter future for Britain’s wildlife.
Mammal Society 18.05.2021