Closed petition Protect our children’s heritage – increase funding for Natural England

Government should restore adequate funding for Natural England to protect nature for the health, well-being and heritage of our children. Since 2008 funding vital for work such as nature recovery, care for sites vital for endangered species, and for landscapes, has been cut by £165 million.

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Natural England is no longer able even to fund urgent work to aid species in danger of extinction. Restoring the budget to 2008 levels only requires the equivalent of 12 days of the current road-building programme, or less than half that earmarked for filling potholes each year.

At a time of ecological and climate emergency we need to enhance natural capacity to store carbon. We must not abandon the crown jewels of England’s natural heritage and impoverish our present, and our children’s future.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Other parliamentary business

UK biodiversity report published by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on 'Biodiversity in the UK: bloom or bust', which calls for the Government to conserve and restore UK biodiversity and ecosystems.
The report is published amid grave concern that of the G7 countries, the UK has the lowest level of biodiversity remaining.
The MPs on the Committee found that existing Government policy and targets were inadequate to address plummeting biodiversity loss. This is made worse by nature policy not being joined up across Government, nor is nature protection consistently factored into policy making.
Some key recommendations made by the Committee include:
- The Government must establish a timetable to put management plans and monitoring in place for all Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), with different categories of destructive bottom trawling banned or restricted. More MPAs should be established as 'no-take' zones
- In the next Spending Review, greater funding must be given to Natural England which reflects its responsibilities and tasks.
- The Government should commission a review identifying and tracking public expenditure harmful to biodiversity. Once identified, Ministers must act to remove harmful subsidies and re-direct money to nature conservation and recovery.
- Tree planting should not occur on peat soils
- Education on biodiversity must increase: a Natural History GCSE should be introduced and investment in skills should be increased for chartered ecology and associated disciplines.
Read an interactive summary of the report:

What happens next?

The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 30 June 2021, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here:

What is the Environmental Audit Committee?

The Environmental Audit Committee is a cross-party group of non-Government MPs who look into how Government policies and departments contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development.
Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on its work:
The Environmental Audit Committee is a select committee. Find out how Select Committees work: