Closed petition Increase statutory protections for protected trees and listed parks

Protected trees and grade listed parks should be afforded statutory protections equivalent to grade-listed buildings.

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Protected trees and grade listed parks should be afforded the same protection as grade listed buildings. There are significant sanctions against persons when the protected status of a tree has been violated. However, local authorities can give permission for trees subject to preservation orders to be cut down, and there are no statutory protections for listed parks.

The Government should increase the rights of trees and grade listed parks, to prevent their protection being removed when a local authority so desires. The environment, especially in urban areas is under constant threat because of development. However, nature should be made foremost in all planning decisions in order to protect our environment. Development working in harmony with nature must be the way for future progress.

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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: