• Bat Conservation

    05 November 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about bat conservation. I am very pleased to hear that the data you refer to shows encouraging signs of recovery for the species.

    The Environment Bill will place environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government, and legislative measures will be introduced to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age, including nature recovery. The Bill will also put environmental ambition and accountability at the very heart of government, and help deliver on the commitment to leave the natural world in a better condition than we found it.

    The Government has committed to developing a Nature Recovery Network and, in the long term, to create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected site series. A new framework for Local Nature Recovery Strategies will be legislated for in the Environment Bill, to help support the Nature Recovery Network - creating places that are richer in wildlife.

    I am pleased to tell you that the Bill will also require the preparation and publication of Local Nature Recovery Strategies, mapping nature-rich habitats, so that investment can be targeted where it will make the most difference. The Government will provide data, guidance, and advice, but these local plans will embrace local knowledge to strengthen links between neighbouring communities and support the wider Network.

    The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) will scrutinise Government policy to ensure the environment is at the heart of decision making. Crucially, it will have the power to run its own independent investigations and enforce environmental law, including taking government and other public bodies to court where necessary. I believe that it is vital we have the required protections and mechanisms in place to protect our wildlife.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon