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.
This week businessman and former owner of Wolves football club, Sir Jack Hawyard, died aged 91. In the late 1960s Sir Jack helped the National Trust acquire Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel through a substantial gift.
Lundy Island – an island rich in human and natural history – bought by the National Trust in 1969
Rob Joules, General Manager for North Devon, said: “Sir Jack Hayward’s gift to the Neptune campaign in 1969 which enabled the National Trust to buy the magical Lundy Island was incredibly generous and allowed us to ensure that the public could continue to enjoy the island forever. Since 1969 tens of thousands of people have been over to the island and enjoyed it first hand; and many millions more have longingly gazed across at the island from the north Devon and south Wales coastlines. Sir Jack’s gift is a legacy that will live on for many future generations to enjoy this unique and very special place.”
Lundy Island is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust. In 1986 it became the first official Marine Nature Area in England.
The Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Specialist, Jill Butler, writes about her favourite National Trust trees and the threats facing the UK’s historic trees.
“As a tree archaeologist, I don’t find it very surprising that the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is one of the major custodians of ancient and other veteran trees.
The ancient Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in Surrey. Credit John Miller
“One of the most special on my list would be the Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in Surrey. It is thought to be the location where King John, almost 800 years to the day, sealed the Magna Carta. Yews, which can live such long lives, were often used to distinguish burial or religious sites or venues for special occasions.
“The National Trust’s Ankerwycke Yew, Shugborough Yew and Newton’s Apple Tree were, quite rightly, shortlisted in this year’s Tree of the Year competition for England run by the Woodland Trust. The Woodland Trust believes that these, along with other National Trust trees like the Tolpuddle Martyr’s Sycamore, should be on a Register of Trees of National Special Interest. This would be a means of giving top recognition to the part they play in our history and landscape, as we do for many other national assets.