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Maintain UK nature laws or risk losing our iconic wildlife: additional quotes

Additional quotes from environmental NGOs commenting on the need to maintain nature protections for iconic UK species and sites

December 2022

Kit Stoner, CEO of Bat Conservation Trust, said:

“The government has spoken about the importance of protecting nature, but the Retained EU Bill would do the opposite. If it’s not withdrawn, we risk losing vital laws that protect our wildlife and the habitats they rely on.

“Under current protection there have been some success stories – three species of bat are finally starting to show slow signs of recovery following significant historic declines. These laws are our first line of defence against the destruction of Britain’s precious natural heritage. If the government is serious about nature recovery, it needs to show COP15 that it is prepared to take domestic action to stand up for nature and the benefit it brings to all of us, and withdrawing this Bill is the first step.”

Katie-Jo Luxton, RSPBs Executive Director for Global Conservation said:

“We are in a nature and climate emergency, half of the UK’s wildlife is in decline and over one in ten species are on the brink of extinction. The Retained EU Law Bill threatens the removal of our strongest environmental laws, which have been vital to protecting some of our most vulnerable wildlife for the last 30 years. Their loss would spell disaster for UK wildlife.

“Our Government instead needs to consider how to build on those strong foundations to deliver an improved legislative and regulatory framework to address the shortcomings of the existing system to ensure that we do more to keep common species common and save our most vulnerable wildlife. But we cannot rush this process all in the name of attention grabbing statements on deregulation that contain no real detail on what comes next.

“We believe that the UK; can restore our natural world, can halt and reverse species decline, and can demonstrate global leadership on the environment. But this will require a full and thorough approach driven by the need to save nature as our leaders do not have the luxury of making a mistake with our environment.”

Jenny Hawley, Plantlife’s Policy Manager, said:

“With one in five wildflowers already at risk of extinction, uprooting legal protections for endangered species makes a mockery of the Government’s own Environment Act. Ministers have committed to nature’s recovery with one hand, while taking away basic protections with the other.

“We should be proud to protect and nurture extraordinary plants such as lady’s slipper and fen orchids, rather than scorching them from the landscape in a bonfire of EU regulations.”

Josie Cohen, Head of Policy and Campaigns at PAN UK said:

“The Retained EU Law Bill poses an unprecedented threat to biodiversity, particularly when it comes protecting wildlife from hazardous pesticides. A single teaspoon of a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to deliver a lethal dose to 1.25 billion bees. This new Bill threatens to overturn the UK’s existing ban on these bee-toxic chemicals, despite the fact that 17 species of bees have already gone extinct in parts of the UK, with another 25 threatened. [1]

"Rather than trash the UK’s existing pesticide regime which took decades to design, the Government must withdraw the Retained EU Law Bill and instead focus on publishing the much-delayed National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides which they promised in 2018.”


  1. Pollinators in Peril - Climate Change Threat to UK Bees - Buglife latest news

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