The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has launched an inquiry into implementing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This inquiry aims to assess how current policy works and whether it benefits the environment, whist ensuring that food production can be properly maintained.
There has been a lot of interest on the news recently about the importance of bees and other pollinators. In simple terms, bees are important due to their ability to distribute pollen that allows plants to flourish and for crops to grow, contributing to food security. In addition, bees also contribute towards biodiversity and the health of our environment.
Fig 1: Short haired bee
Some people may wonder what the benefit is in evaluating soil biodiversity and wonder why money ought to be spent on further research. While you may be aware of the importance of bees or wildflowers in preserving the environment it is easy to forget that organisms in soil play a critical role in the biological processes that create and sustain life and are at least as important. The presence or absence of soil organisms can indicate the health of the environment.
When people think of invasive species they often think of animals. In England grey squirrels are a classic example of this as their presence has led to the widespread decline of the native population of red squirrels. What people may not realise is that this can also happen with plants as well.
The Environment Minister Richard Benyon has confirmed that the following plant species have been banned:
Natural England is working to improve access to the natural environment for a range of social groups stating that “everyone should have access to a good quality natural environment.”
Ecosulis have been appointed on a three year framework with the Environment Agency as an extension to the Midlands Landscape Framework that Ecosulis are appointed under. The work is to create and manage habitat at Attenborough Lakes Site of Special Scientific Interest near Nottingham. Twelve sites within the 300ha SSSI will be managed to ensure that a mosaic of reedbed, wet meadow, scrub and woodland habitat is maintained at favourable conservation status.
Landscape design is key to development schemes, but sometimes it can be difficult to include biodiversity enhancements due to pressures associated with budgets and timescales.