Government launches new measures to halt and reverse nature’s decline

New measures have been set out by the Government to boost nature recovery on land and at sea. 

The new plans – announced one year on from the launch of the Environmental Improvement Plan – will see a permanent closure of the sandeel fisheries in English waters of the North Sea from April, further targeted restrictions on damaging bottom trawling and a new framework for national parks and protected areas to help them better deliver for nature.

Sandeels are a vital food source for some of our most vulnerable seabirds and marine mammals, such as the iconic puffin and harbour porpoise, and commercially important fish species such as haddock and whiting. This closure will bolster the resilience of these species and make space for nature to recover across our marine habitats.

Important pink sea fans, fragile sponges, anemones will also be further boosted with a targeted ban announced on bottom trawling in an additional 13 Marine Protected Areas.

To bring us closer to achieving the global goal to protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030, a new framework for National Parks and National Landscapes to help them better deliver for nature and access will also be published.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said:   

Steve Barclay
Steve Barclay

“We’ve made a lot of progress since we launched the Environmental Improvement Plan – we’ve planted nearly 5 million trees, improved public access to our beautiful countryside and accelerated the adoption of our world-leading farming schemes.

“We are building on this progress with a new package to safeguard our marine ecosystems and bring us one step closer to achieving our 30by30 target, both on land and sea.

“Protecting the environment is fundamental to the prosperity of our country and our new commitments will drive forward our mission to create a cleaner and greener country for all.”

The government has also announced the recipients of £7 million of awards to improve lowland peat soils.

Peatlands are our largest terrestrial carbon store, however, as a result of centuries of drainage for agriculture, just 1% of England’s lowland peatlands remain in a near-natural state, and these drained peatlands account for 88% of all greenhouse gas emissions from England’s peat.

The 34 projects, spread across England’s lowland peat regions such as the Cambridgeshire Fens and Somerset Levels, will use government funding to improve the management of water on lowland peat and enhance understanding of climate change impacts and flood risk. They include projects that will use innovative technologies, such as telemetry, to precisely control water retention levels across the landscape.

SourceDefra

NEWS CATEGORIES

LATEST NEWS

Severn Trent Water fined £2 million for ‘reckless’ pollution

Severn Trent Water has been ordered to pay a fine of £2,072,000 for allowing huge amounts of raw sewage to discharge into the River...

SCAPE launches £4bn frameworks to unlock low carbon utilities infrastructure

SCAPE, one of the UK’s leading public sector procurement specialists, has launched its new Utilities Works and Services frameworks, designed to empower utility sector...

New Hong Kong desalination plant begins delivering fresh water to 137,000 homes

The new Tseung Kwan O desalination plant is the first to use reverse osmosis technology in Hong Kong. Construction of the first stage plant...

JD Pipes expands Colchester branch by 75% with enhanced facilities and services

JDP (John Davidson Pipes), a manufacturer and supplier of civils and drainage products, has announced the major expansion of its Colchester branch. Recently re-opened, this...