The Government has published its draft Environment Bill and our initial analysis can be read here. In response to the draft, Patrick Begg, National Trust Outdoors and Natural Resources Director made the following statement:
“The Prime Minister announced in July that the Government would bring forward the first Environment Bill in over 20 years. We welcomed that and have been looking forward to an ambitious and effective Bill to help restore a healthy natural environment.
“But the Bill must have an ambition to go beyond the current EU protections and be truly effective in restoring nature. Yesterday’s announcements were not enough – they read too much like the policies have had the stuffing knocked out of them as they’ve been batted around Whitehall.
“We’re also disappointed that the Bill excludes the historic environment from its remit. Too narrow a definition of environment risks creating arbitrary divides between what is natural and what has been created by people, which doesn’t reflect the reality of how our environment has developed over time.
“There is time to fix this before the full Bill comes before Parliament next summer. But the onus is on the Prime Minister to realise the vision she set out last July and make sure it’s not just Whitehall business as usual when it comes to the environment.”