Government plan to scrap Natural England?

Dismantling Natural England would be ‘calamitous’, campaigners say.

Government accused of “obsession with moving furniture around” as Defra confirms structural changes are being considered Read more in Civil Service World

Campaigners have raised the alarm after spotting the proposal buried in a recent government consultation on nature recovery, which was sent to stakeholders. Craig Bennett, the chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, said that “various ministers are a bit obsessed” with absorbing the conservation watchdog into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in effect destroying it. A government spokesperson confirmed that this was being considered, though no firm decisions had been made. Wildlife experts fear this is the final nail in the coffin for the government’s “critical friend”, and will mean there is less scrutiny of the actions ministers take on nature and the environment. Read more in the Guardian

TruePublica reports: There’s a good reason why the government is planning such a move – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has, according to analysts, investigators and campaigners – “failed on pretty much every aspect of protecting wildlife and the environment.” This makes it the perfect department for hiding yet more failings on the environment.

Well before the pandemic back in 2019 – despite promises to prioritise green issues, the UK had made little progress on tackling carbon emissions, air and water pollution, waste and overfishing, as well as increasing tree planting and biodiversity.

Boris Johnson promised to “do extraordinary things on the environment”, yet the country’s green credentials were in chaos, according to the investigation by Greenpeace’s journalism unit Unearthed and the Financial Times.

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