The recognition of the need for restoration and recovery of the natural environment at a landscape-scale is applauded.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust also welcomes the commitment to establish Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs). There are concerns, however, that initiating just 12 could seriously limit the scale of nature restoration. The Wildlife Trusts want to improve wildlife habitats across the whole country, and now.
Although the White Paper’s vision is both clear and admirable it does not provide enough detail as to how the 92 commitments within it will be achieved. Nor does it commit to enshrining its aspirations in law.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust now urges Government to make the White Paper’s implementation a national priority and drive forward this process with urgency.
Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: “How this White Paper is implemented and adopted by all Government departments will be critical. There is a vital need to ensure it influences the current policy reforms around planning, development and growth.”
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust welcomes the commitment to encourage and support Local Nature Partnerships where local areas wish to establish them. The Wildlife Trusts have, for years, been delivering landscape-scale conservation with farmers, landowners and local communities on the ground - through Living Landscape schemes - on a voluntary basis. All are working to reconnect people to nature where they live. This approach has been recognised and needs to be driven forward and implemented with sufficient resources.
Paul Learoyd continued: “The Wildlife Trusts initiated the call for this White Paper because we believed the time had come for the state to show leadership in securing nature’s recovery. Although we hugely welcome this vision within this White Paper, it is disappointing that a commitment to enshrining the aspirations in statute has not been made. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust will keep up pressure on the Government to deliver against their vision and will continue to challenge for new policy and legislation, if we feel it is needed, to secure nature’s recovery.”