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Cornish countryside

25 Year Environment Plan Proposals

Last week, the Government delivered its 25 year Environment Plan.

Teresa May made it clear that “Brexit will not mean a lowering of environmental standards.” She claims that  all existing EU environmental regulations will be incorporated into domestic law when we leave.

Amongst other proposals, May said she wishes to increase protection for threatened species and provide richer wildlife habitats, expand our trees and woodlands, and use a natural capital approach in decision making.

She also claims that the UK will take a global lead on reducing the demand for plastic and improve its recycling rates.

As an Environmental Consultancy specialising in biodiversity, landscape and the natural environment we are pleased to hear this. However, time will tell if this government will deliver and we agree with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust that action is key.

Many of the policies outlined in the plan align closely with Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s own ambitions; namely protecting and enhancing wildlife on land and at sea and re-connecting people with nature. The document calls for ‘an approach to agriculture, forestry, land-use and fishing that puts the environment first’, something that Cornwall has collectively advocated in the Cornwall Environmental Growth strategy launched back in 2016 by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership.

Mark Nicholson, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Chair of Trustees says,

“It is hugely exciting to see a Government plan that is so closely aligned to the Trust’s own strategic plan and Cornwall’s ambition as a whole to achieve Environmental Growth. Our challenge to the Government is now to back up the proposals with watertight legislation to make sure they become reality.”

Cornish woodland - credit A Howie

May wishes to expand our trees and woodlands – important habitats for a huge array of wildlife and recreational uses

Cornwall Wildlife Trust and CEC shares much of the vision of the new 25-year Environment Plan but the task ahead can only be helped if the ambition of the plan is set in law, receives adequate funding and is overseen by an environmental watchdog that has genuine clout. The Trust will continue to work locally with its partners to help deliver the environmental growth principle of this plan and will be campaigning with other environmental organisations nationally for a powerful new Environment Act so that there is accountability for the targets introduced today.

CEC will support the Trust with this; we will also remain client focused and continue to deliver ecological and landscape architecture solutions across Cornwall and beyond for all manner of developments, projects and businesses.

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