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Coalition government failing on wildlife promises

The Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Nature Check report finds that the Government has met just two of 16 commitments.

The Government is failing to deliver on its wildlife and landscape promises, according to a report compiled by an alliance of 29 of the UK’s leading environmental groups.

Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Nature Check, which is supported by groups including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, concluded that of the 16 major commitments made by the Government on the natural environment, only two had been delivered well.

Paul Wilkinson, head of living landscapes for the Wildlife Trusts, which are also members of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: “Government performance on the natural environment is a very mixed bag. We see leadership when it comes to economic recovery, but what about nature’s recovery?”

“The Wildlife Trusts were encouraged by the hugely ambitious vision in the Natural Environment White Paper, but see no evidence that this is being driven forward across the Government. We need strong leadership now, more than ever.”

The report concludes that the Government’s commitments to wildlife overseas are being met, with thumbs up given to new legislation opposing ivory sales and commercial whaling.

However, failing policy areas according to the report include the future of nationally owned forests, and the plan to tackle bovine tuberculosis through a cull of badgers.

There is also criticism of the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, which, the report says, place economic needs above environmental ones.

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