Co-Chair: Matt Williams, National Trust
Co-Chair: Karen Ellis, WWF-UK
Head of Policy and Campaigns: Dan Pescod, Link
Link’s 25 Year Plan group continues to lead the sector’s joint action to ensure that the 25 Year Environment Plan’s ambitions are realised.
In September, several Link members attended a Defra meeting on a draft set of “indicators” for the Plan. These will be a set of measurements to show how the environment in England and the UK overseas territories is faring. We asked questions and made comments, and subsequently provided detailed written comments for Defra.
After attending a Defra workshop on the reintroduction and translocation of species, Link submitted a response to Defra draft guidelines for a reintroductions and translocations code, as identified in the 25 Year Plan.
In October the Group also met Defra officials to discuss “conservation covenants” – another aspect of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a legal mechanism which could - if devised carefully - help to provide significantly greater protection for nature.
In November members of the Group, along with members of Link’s Land Use Planning Group, met Defra officials to discuss the issue of “net biodiversity gain”, ahead of the consultation on this important matter which was subsequently published in December. (See the ‘Land Use Planning” section for more).
In December the Group responded to the Government’s “call for evidence” to inform its review of England's National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). We underlined that National Parks and AONBs have a key role to play in delivering the ambition and commitments set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, and urged that greater priority be given to the conservation and enhancement of the wildlife, cultural heritage and natural beauty of these areas. We also called for better planning rules, enhanced car-free access and strengthened duties on public bodies to protect and enhance these priceless national treasures.
The recently published Environment Bill is expected to include targets for nature’s recovery and environmental improvement, supporting at least some aspects of the 25 Year Plan. In view of this, December saw the Group organise a sector-wide workshop to look in some detail at existing environmental targets, with a view to ensuring we maximize our collective knowledge in order to advocate effectively for the best possible environment bill. The 25 Year Plan Group will continue this work into the New Year.
For further information, contact Dan Pescod, Link’s Head of Policy and Campaigns.
Last updated: 1 February 2019
Also in the policy hub:
Membership of Wildlife and Countryside Link is open to national and international voluntary or other non-profit organisations based in England. Member organisations must be able to demonstrate an interest in furthering the work of Link, and their aims must include the protection of wildlife, landscape and the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Individual members of the public are not eligible to join Link, but may be interested in joining one of Link's member organisations.