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Wildlife and Countryside Link News

Welcome to Link’s news - a roundup of what's happened in August. For updates from our working groups, please go to the policy hub. If you would like to submit news items for our monthly e-bulletin, please contact Jodie Le Marquand. To subscribe please enter your email at the bottom of the page.

August top stories

25 Year Plan

Earlier this year, the Government published its first annual review of progress against its 25 Year Environment Plan.

In August, Link published its own report on progress against the Plan.

Link recognises and applauds the Plan’s ambition and green intentions. These range from tackling pollution, protecting and enhancing wildlife and delivering a more sustainable farming system, to name but a few.

The Link report notes that in the first year since the Plan was published we have seen strong and encouraging announcements emerge from Defra in many areas, such as resources and waste, net biodiversity gain and nature recovery networks.

Link raises questions, however, over whether the funds, legal underpinning, binding targets and enforcement, needed to make these plans a reality, will be forthcoming, and whether delivery will happen quickly enough to stop the countdown to environmental disaster.

Link urges Government to underpin the Plan with a strong Westminster Environment Bill, with ambitious targets for nature’s recovery and a powerful green watchdog with real bite. The Treasury must commit to finding funds to match the Plan’s ambitions, not least after years of cuts to biodiversity conservation funding.

Looking ahead, the UK Government’s ambition to play a leading role in restoring the environment globally is welcome, particularly as 2020 will see landmark global summits on the climate and biodiversity. The UK can be a credible leader internationally if it makes good on the domestic aspirations of the 25 Year Plan, and indeed goes beyond commitments in the Plan where the evidence requires stronger action.

Management measures for widespread invasive species

Link has responded to Defra’s consultation on management measures for widespread invasive species.

Although Link broadly supports the management measures proposed in the consultation, detail is lacking on Government’s overarching management strategy, and processes for decision-making and prioritisation. With tight resources, we suggest this is an important omission. Government must recognise the need for planned, strategic, coordinated and sustained action, at the appropriate scale and over sufficient periods, to deliver lasting ecological, economic and social benefits.

August Blogs & Publications

As the plastics debate has evolved in the public eye, so has Link’s work in this area. The plastics subgroup of the Marine Working Group has broadened its focus and taken on a life of its own to become the Resources and Waste Working Group. Maddy Haughton-Boakes, Campaign Lead at CPRE writes about her new role as Chair of this group.

Other blogs and publications this month include getting tough on tackling bycatch from Sarah Dolman at Whales and Dolphin Conservation, Link’s position on the bovine TB strategy review and the UK marine strategy briefing.

In August, Link published the following press releases, reports and consultation responses:

We welcome blogs from Link members and others. To contribute a blog for the Link website, please contact Emma Adler, Link’s Head of Communications.

Follow Link on LinkedIn and Twitter

Link has a presence on the professional networking site LinkedIn, which includes updates on our blogs, news alerts and job opportunities. Take a look at our page and follow us to keep up to date with our work.

The Link team also regularly tweets news and comment on Twitter.

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