Community Forests: Government announces £44m boost for tree-planting ambitions

The government announced a major boost to its plans to significantly expand the UK’s forest cover late last week, confirming that £44.2m has been awarded to projects that are set to deliver around 2,300 hectares of new trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches. The awards represent the latest wave of funding from £750m … Read more

Study: Nature-friendly farming boosts wildlife without damaging food production

Nature-friendly farming practices can increase local bird and wildlife populations without compromising food production, a decade-long research project by the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) has found. Scientists spent 10 years closely monitoring the impacts of a large-scale Defra funded experiment to assess the efficacy of more sustainable farming practices and their impact … Read more

Official: Distribution of supermarket single-use plastic bags down 97 per cent

The single-use plastic bag charge has helped reduce the number of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets by 97 per cent since 2015, according to new analysis released today by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). The initial 5p charge was introduced in UK supermarkets in 2015 and since then the number of … Read more

Flood-hit communities offered share of £100m government funding to bolster defences

Communities across England which have suffered the “miserable” devastation of repeated flooding in recent years are to be offered a share of a fresh £100m ringfenced government funding pot announced today to help better protect their properties. The £100m Frequently Flooded Allowance is aimed at improving access to public funding for communities where 10 or … Read more

‘Nutrient credits’: Government launches latest water pollution crackdown

Just days after the Environment Agency released a damning assessment of the water industry’s continuing failure to tackle sewage overflows and other serious pollution incidents, the government yesterday launched its latest package of measures to tackle water pollution across England. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) unveiled a series of plans designed … Read more

‘Priority’ species in freefall across England, Defra confirms

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has this week published its fourth annual report on its progress against the objectives set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, analysing its performance against 50 natural capital indicators spanning air, water, waste, biodiversity, and soil. The update sets out a stark picture on the … Read more

Alan Lovell appointed as new Environment Agency chair

Alan Lovell has been appointed chair of the Environment Agency, where he will take up the reins in September following the departure of outgoing chair Emma Howard Boyd, the government announced yesterday. Lovell has spent much of his career in business, having served as CEO or chair at a number of leading businesses, primarily in … Read more

Missing crucial ingredients: Campaigners slam government’s new Food Strategy

The government is today facing fierce criticism over its new Food Strategy with critics from both the food and farming industry and the environmental movement accusing Ministers of producing a document that is “flatter than a pancake and missing most of the crucial ingredients needed to truly ensure our long-term food security”. The Department for … Read more

Around 50 peatland, tree planting and biodiversity projects scoop government grants

A tree planting project in Liverpool and a plan to restore peatlands at the Great Fen in Cambridgeshire are among 50 initiatives sharing in government grants announced today with an eye on unlocking further private investment into nature restoration and climate action across England. Individual grants of up to £100,000 have been awarded to environmental … Read more

Packet In: Pilot launched for household collection of flexible plastic

Industry-led consortium aims to recruit local authorities to take part in new FlexCollect project A three-year pilot to understand how to incorporate flexible plastics–used in the packaging of many consumer goodsinto household recycling services has been launched this week by an industry-led consortium, ahead of the government’s goal to introduce consistent nationwide recycling collections across … Read more