On the first anniversary of the Natural Environment White Paper’s publication, Durham Wildlife Trust urges the Government to recommit to the restoration and recovery of the natural environment.
At its launch, on 7 June 2011, Durham Wildlife Trust applauded the Government’s level of ambition and was keen to ensure that there was a sense of urgency in acting on the many commitments.
At that time, the Government committed to establishing Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs). Of the 12 announced in February, The Wildlife Trusts movement is involved in all, and leading on five.
Across the eastern half of England there are no NIAs north of the Humber, therefore Durham Wildlife Trust is concerned that without further designation of NIAs the scale of nature restoration will be severely limited.
Following the inclusion of Nature Improvement Areas in the National Planning Policy Framework in March, Durham Wildlife Trust believes the NIA concept should be picked up in every new Local Plan and new Nature Improvement Areas should be identified to create ecological networks everywhere across England.
The Governments’ policy, as stated in the Natural Environment White Paper, is for Nature Improvement Areas to be identified “wherever the opportunities or benefits are greatest, driven by the knowledge and vision of local partners”.