National Trust voices concerns on biodiversity offsetting for habitats earmarked for housing

In response to Owen Paterson’s interview in the Times on Saturday 4 January, a spokesperson at the National Trust said: “We are deeply concerned about the article in the Times regarding biodiversity offsetting for housing to include 400 year old woodland.

“Offsetting the losses of wildlife that usually accompany development by creating replacement habitats could be a useful addition to the planning system. But it mustn’t mean mature irreplaceable habitats being replaced by low-quality habitats that will take decades to develop the character and complexity of those that have been lost. There will be some habitats that are effectively irreplaceable and should not be part of any offsetting scheme.

“We advocate a ‘brownfield’ first approach when it comes to new housing developments and to find alternatives to the creep of development into the countryside. One of our charitable purposes is to conserve and protect ancient and historic woodland. What Mr Paterson has said today appears to go against the Government’s Green Paper on biodiversity offsetting published in September, and also raises cause for concern over protection of the green belt.”


One thought on “National Trust voices concerns on biodiversity offsetting for habitats earmarked for housing

  1. I thought Owen Patterson’s approach to our natural environment was dismal in 2013 {e.g. neonicotinoids, badgers, caving on CAP 15% transfer} but starting 2014 on an attack on scarce Ancient woodland beggars belief. As those more knowledgeable amongst us would know its more than just the trees { important though they are}, its the whole environment/habitat, which may not be replaceable. This given the fact such woodland has not be subjected to heavy exposure to fertilisers/nutrients as applied to much of our land by modern farming. As to the confidence I have in developers and ‘offsetting’ I have seen the poor standards applied {and on NT land} by contractors given that’s not how they make their money. What’s concerning is Patterson is not ignorant of this and once more short term development /commercial gains are prioritised over longer term unrecoverable damage to our natural environment along with what that means to bio-diversity. Not a natural environment I would like to grow up in but for future generations a choice taken out of their hands!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s