In June the Government issued a Ministerial Statement (see below) on the Glover Landscape Review in which the Government did not provide a full response but, to the disappointment of many merely renewed its commitment to respond later this year. Improvements are needed for both existing and new protected landscapes to deliver Government promises to protect 30% of land by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. Sadly the government have still not yet published a strategy to achieve this.
Firm commitments are thin on the ground from Defra but there is some good news for two of England’s most iconic landscapes as they are being considered to become new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), alongside extensions to the Surrey Hills and Chilterns AONBs.
Written Ministerial Statement
In a Written Statement on 24 June 2021 George Eustice Secretary of State said: “The government agrees that more funding should be directed towards making space for nature and supporting nature’s recovery in our protected landscapes. Since the review was published, we have been supporting important projects in our protected landscapes through our Nature for Climate Fund and Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Our future Local Nature Recovery scheme, part of the future agriculture policy, will also support the objective of nature’s recovery in our protected landscapes and beyond. I have also asked Natural England to prepare proposals for the possible designation of additional National Nature Reserves, where there is landowner support, and to consider how nature’s recovery within such designations might be supported financially through our new Landscape Recovery scheme (also part of our future agriculture policy). The government also agrees that we should do more to support public access to protected landscapes”. For the full statement click HERE
George Eustice also said the work “will contribute to the government’s commitment of protecting 30% of our land by 2030, and boosting biodiversity, while taking forward the review’s recommendation to designate more areas of the country for their natural beauty.” He also said “We are also considering options to strengthen the status and support given to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the recommendation to possibly change their name”.
The is to be a consultation and full review of recommendations later in 2021.
For more from Defra, For more from the Environment Secretary George Eustice, Chair of Natural England Tony Juniper and Julian Glover, who led the review click HERE