Statement on recent Government proposals and the importance of environmental protections
- 24 September 2022
Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust, said: The National Trust has a long history of standing up for nature and our countryside, from our founders' campaigns to protect the Lake District to Operation Neptune in the 1960s. We've shaped and advocated for greater protections for nature and heritage throughout our long history, safeguarding the landscapes that make this country so special.
It is in this spirit that I am writing today. We are at a crucial moment for our natural environment. Nature is in decline and we need bold action on climate change. These concerns are shared by the public: poll upon poll show that further ambition on Net Zero and nature are widely supported.
Rather than ramp up action to support our environment, this Government appears however to be heading in the opposite direction. Environmental protections are dismissed as 'burdens', whilst investment and growth are pitted against nature and climate action.
The new Investment Zones represent a free-for-all for nature and heritage, yet we know that green spaces and beauty are vital to attract investment and for a good quality of life. Likewise a rumoured return to EU-style land subsidies will squander one of the biggest Brexit opportunities for nature, fatally undermining improvements to the nature, soil and water upon which sustainable food production depends
The Trust will always defend protections for nature and heritage, and we will respond in full to any proposals. The UK has led the way in recent years on environment action - from farm subsidy reform to COP26. It mustn't abandon this for our future's sakes.