Call for Government to re-commit
Thursday 14th June 2012
© Duncan Hutt
On the first anniversary of the Natural Environment White Paper’s publication, Northumberland Wildlife Trust urges the Government to recommit to the restoration and recovery of the natural environment.
At its launch, on 7 June 2011, the Trust applauded the Government’s level of ambition and was keen to ensure that there was a sense of urgency in acting on the many commitments.
At that time, the Government committed to establishing Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) with twelve being announced in February 2012. Northumberland Wildlife Trust submitted 6 areas for consideration in this Region, all of were rejected, so it is not surprising that the organisation remains concerned that limiting the number could seriously limit the scale of nature restoration.
Following the inclusion of Nature Improvement Areas in the National Planning Policy Framework in March, Northumberland Wildlife Trust believes the current priority is for the concept to be picked up in every new Local Plan and for Nature Improvement Areas to be identified as part of local ecological networks everywhere across England.
The Governments’ policy, as stated in the Natural Environment White Paper, is for Nature Improvement Areas to be identified “wherever the opportunities or benefits are greatest, driven by the knowledge and vision of local partners”.
Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Chief Executive said: “We have a massive opportunity to build on the regional and local opportunity mapping work, to make sure that opportunities for restoration and recovery of the natural environment are embedded in planning policy. There are complex demands being placed on land for food, wildlife, recreation and development. Only by taking a strategic view, and involving local communities, will we secure the survival of wildlife-rich places, and aid nature’s recovery.”
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