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Wildlife and Countryside Link News

Welcome to Link’s news - a roundup of what happened in March. 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 Zoe Davies. To subscribe please enter your email at the bottom of the page.

‘Nature invaders’ headline during Invasive Species Week 2018

Link achieved a wide media coverage for Invasive Species week 2018, with hits in the Guardian , Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, The Belfast Telegraph, The Courier and Advertiser, and local radio interviews with Pete Morris of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Our figures on the cost of ‘nature invaders’, showed that invasive plant and animal species cost well in excess of £2 billion to the UK economy last year. We publicised the figures to highlight the risk of increased numbers of invasive species getting through our borders as more trade routes open up post-Brexit. Fifteen Link members worked together to send a clear message to the UK Government to that preventative action is urgently needed.

Link’s Invasive Non-Native Species Group want to see: a detailed assessment of the post-Brexit ‘nature invader’ threat; adequate funds and legislation to ensure the Government’s post-Brexit invasive species strategy is effective, enforceable, and adequately deters illegal activities; and the ‘precautionary and polluter pays’ incorporated into UK law.

Lords accuse Government of failing environment and communities

The Lords Select Committee’s report into the NERC Act, published on 22 March, reflected a number of key concerns Link raised in its response to their inquiry.

We welcome the Committee’s recognition that lack of independence from Government has seriously damaged Natural England’s capacity to fulfil its mandate and agree that Natural England needs to be provided sufficient funding to ensure that it can fulfil its mandate. In addition, resources are needed to support efforts to reverse the decline in biodiversity, including strengthening the biodiversity duty.

Looking ahead, we will be working to ensure strong and timely implementation of the Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment, and reform of land management and planning laws, to redress the biodiversity crisis and help ensure that England’s countryside and rural communities can thrive in the 21st Century.

Link and Defra to co-host agriculture consultation event

On 18 April, Link will be co-hosting a stakeholder consultation event with Defra, focussing on the Government’s recent Command Paper on future farming and land management policy. This follows Link’s key role in helping shape the Government’s thinking on its post Brexit agriculture policy.

The day will be shaped around five policy areas from the consultation, with workshops facilitated and attended by Defra officials on: Environmental Land Management, Animal Welfare, Rural communities and uplands, Farming excellence, profitability and resilience, and Reducing direct payments.

We would be delighted to welcome our key stakeholders to this event. Please register here if you would like to attend. Please note that spaces are limited and Link members will be given priority if the event is oversubscribed.

Link is recruiting

Link is seeking to fill the post of Information and Policy Coordinator. This is a key role at Link that combines vital office management and administrative tasks with policy and campaigns work. The post will involve working with our 48 member organisations to deliver positive outcomes for animal welfare, landscapes and the natural environment. See our vacancies page for further information. The closing date for applications is Monday 16 April 2018.

March Blogs and Publications

Our blogs in March spanned a wide range of Link’s priority topics. Animal welfare blogs focussed on the Government’s agriculture consultation, National Poultry Day and banning live exports of livestock.

We also published blogs for Water Saving Week 2018, the launch of the National Planning Policy Framework, and making the case for landscape in future farming policy.

Our members penned five excellent blogs for Invasive Species Week 2018, including: the importance of evidence in INNS policy making, being ‘plant wise’, freshwater hitchhikers, exotic pets, and voluntary action on INNS.

To contribute a blog for the Link website, please contact Emma Adler, Link’s Communications Manager.

In March, Link published the following press releases and statements:

Members Only: Save the Date - Environment Links UK Conference, 2-3 October 2018

On 2 and 3 October 2018, Link will be hosting the biennial Environment Links UK Conference in London. The conference is always an excellent time to bring members of our four Links together to share ideas and develop our joint working across the UK. More details to follow – but for now, save the date!

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Link is 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, as does Link’s Director, Elaine King.

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