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Norfolk Wildlife Trust welcomes government’s 25 Year Environment Plan

PUBLISHED: 16:43 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 12 January 2018

Norfolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Brendan Joyce. Picture: ANDY CROUCH

Norfolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Brendan Joyce. Picture: ANDY CROUCH

©Andy Crouch 2014

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has welcomed government’s 25 year environment plan saying it contained “some very encouraging words and ambitions for land and sea”.

A view across to Cley Mill in the early morning sunlight, Picture: Elizabeth Dack A view across to Cley Mill in the early morning sunlight, Picture: Elizabeth Dack

The trust said Prime Minister Theresa Mays speech this week on the environment showed that government finally realised how much the environment meant to the people of the UK.

However, The Wildlife Trusts and other conservation bodies felt the lack of legal underpinning was a fundamental flaw.

In a statement, the NWT said: “It is vital that the Prime Minister fulfils her intention to ensure there is no weakening of environmental standards as we leave the EU’s world-leading environmental legal system.

“It is heartening to see that the government is making a commitment to nature’s recovery and helping people to reconnect with it, something we have been calling for and doing here in Norfolk for a long time.”

Prime minister Theresa May.  Picture: Nick Butcher Prime minister Theresa May. Picture: Nick Butcher

Norfolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Brendan Joyce said despite the efforts and successes of conservation organisations, wildlife continued to be in serious decline while habitat was being lost.

He said: “More and more species are under threat. It is vital that we reconnect fragmented wildlife habitats and create more space for wildlife to survive.

“It is also vital that we raise awareness of the importance of wildlife and healthy ecosystems to our own physical and mental health and that we help people to reconnect with nature.”

Mr Joyce said it had been more than seven years since the Lawton Report: Making Space for Nature was submitted to government.

“And at last there are signs that some of its key recommendations will be acted upon,” he said.

The trust said government’s 25 Year Environment Plan contained a number of welcome commitments including:

• Proposals to create a nature recovery network delivering 500,000 hectares of new habitat;

• Securing better protection for the marine environment; and

• Tackling plastic waste.

“We all depend on a high quality natural environment and in the long run, what is good for wildlife is also good for us,” said Mr Joyce. “Restoring degraded wildlife habitats, recreating wild spaces where they have been lost or destroyed and linking together natural areas clearly helps nature. But it is also good for people.”

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