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New nature funding welcome but must be the start of sustained investment

16 November 2020

Wildlife and Countryside Link has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement of a further £40m in funding for the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and work to extend National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty and deliver 10 “Landscape Recovery” projects. The coalition has said this should be part of substantial and sustained investment in nature's recovery.

Dr Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: "We welcome this positive decision to add a further £40m to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Many of the natural marvels that have helped sustain so many people during coronavirus are at risk of being lost forever, and substantial and sustained investment will be needed to restore nature for future generations. This is a good indication that Government is taking the challenge seriously.

"We also welcome the promise of new designated landscapes. The real challenge for making the 30% commitment meaningful, however, is about the quality of protection and not just its extent. Government should undertake to designate and restore the last pockets of natural habitat wherever they can be found, not just in a few flagship parks. It must also reform the way National Parks and AONBs are managed to ensure they play their part in nature’s recovery."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The Green Recovery Challenge Fund was oversubscribed by almost ten times and we had written to the Chancellor to call for more investment.
  • On 30x30, only 8% of England is currently protected specifically for nature (as SSSIs). Implementing the recommendations of the Glover Review would help to ensure that more of the area designated as AONB and National Park is protected against harm and managed for nature’s recovery.