The Government has today launched a three month consultation on the next tranche of Marine Conservation Zones around the coast of England. Below is a joint response to the announcement from the National Trust and the Marine Conservation Society.
Second round of Marine Conservation Zone designation will leave English waters woefully under protected
Conservation charities say promised network of protection is not even close as vital sites don’t even get to public consultation
The UK’s leading marine charity says it is hugely disappointed that, in the same week the Government has been warned how England’s declining natural environment is harming the economy, it has failed to deliver on promises to better protect English seas.
37 sites had been proposed to go forward to a second public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), all identified by Government’s scientific advisers as vital to plugging “major gaps” that currently exist in the development of a UK network.
However, only 23 sites have made the final list when the consultation for potential new MCZs was launched on Friday 30th January. While MCS is keen that members of the public air their views to ensure that these sites become a reality, the charity has real concerns that English seas will not contribute a network of sites that we can be proud of in future.
We are pleased that Government has listened to our recommendations and agreed in principle to rule out some of our most treasured natural and historic landscapes by promising to ban fracking in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Peter Nixon, National Trust Director for Land, Landscape and Nature, said: “Today’s announced plans by Government to ban fracking in sensitive areas represents a hugely important moment for the natural world and our wonderful landscapes.
“It would be a very dangerous gamble to expose these special places and wildlife that as a nation we love to a largely untested technology that only takes us further away from our climate change targets. We now need to continue to fight for strong regulation to protect our wider environment against the impacts of the shale gas industry.”
Read the Are we Fit to Frack? report, which we launched with Angling Trust, CPRE, RSPB, Salmon and Trout Association, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
and Wildlife Trusts, for more on our views.
The National Trust has joined forces with charities across the UK this week to call for the protection and celebration of Britain’s treasured landscapes.
With ongoing speculative development in and around sensitive areas, such as National Parks and AONBs, the group of 27 organisations believes that it is vital for future government policy and funding to reflect the extraordinary value of landscapes.
Common heather, Bell heather and Western gorse lining the coastal path on the Great Hangman with the Little Hangman, Devon. National Trust Images/David Noton
Adapted for the BBC from the award-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Halland Bring Up the Bodies chart the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor.
Filming for the six-part drama took place entirely on location in the UK this summer, with six National Trust places in the South West taking centre stage.