president natural england The head of England’s largest landowners’ organisation, is due to meet the new environment minister to urge him not to give up or ease up on rebuilding schemes.
Tony Juniper, who will meet with Ranil Jayawardena with CLA President Mark Tofnell on Tuesday, noted that swaths of prime land were being used for golf courses, housing and other infrastructure, but that the political focus was on the small amount that would be rebuilt.
There was concern that the new government might roll back the previous administration’s nature restoration plans, in which land owners and farmers are paid to improve nature.
It is said that business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg They turned off the schemeswhile Jayawardena announced his new role with an extensive chicken farm visit and didn’t mention nature much, instead focusing on food security.
Speaking at the Gathering Nature Festival in Wild Kin Hill in North Norfolk, Juniper said: [this prime land] Under golf courses, so it’s not just nature and other things.”
Besides food security, he said, “We also need to capture carbon, we also need to avoid flood risks. We also need places for healthy outdoor enjoyment and recreation, we need land for biodiversity and nature restoration, we need land for water infrastructure, and housing.”
“There will likely be more housing on lands of high agricultural value than in rebuilding projects. All of these things should be on the table at once.”
Tofnell, whose organization represents 33,000 landowners, added that he hopes the new administration will listen to them, and that they realize that restoring nature is the future.
He said, “We’re meeting with the Secretary of State on Tuesday, and I’m going to ask the same questions we discussed this morning. We need to speed up ecological land management and we need to see recovery in nature. It’s a completely false narrative that you can eat or enjoy nature. You have to have both, This is entirely possible.”
Some at the event expressed concern that the government would try to cut off the schemes. Lee Schofield, Senior Site Manager at RSPB Haweswater, said: “I’m very concerned, so I’m not sure what to say either. It’s terrifying. And we just have to hope that what they might be trying to enact doesn’t go through the checks and balances that are in place to prevent us from going backwards.”
Some conservationists are more optimistic about the prospect of restoring nature because they believe the Liz Truss government may not be around for long – so it may not be able to cause much damage to the schemes even if it wanted to.
Jake Fiennes“We have a government that’s only likely to be around for 18 months. We’ve put this ball rolling. There’s already ecological restoration already happening. I think we’re actually on a trajectory, and I think that’s momentum,” said Holkham National Nature Reserve chief of conservation and author of Land Healer. It won’t stop.”
others agree; Benedict MacDonald, who works with landowners to rebuild with Real Wild Estates, said his clients disagree with anti-nature comments made by government figures.
He said, “The backlash against this government, especially from landowners and farmers, would be on their part saying, ‘Why are you standing in my way to do better things and give sustainable land to my children? “And that’s a very powerful thing and I don’t think 18 months of government will sink in.”
Juniper said, “I see no reason why we need to depart from those policies at this time. I look forward to working with ministers to find the best way forward over the coming months and years.”