The government’s long awaited 25 year plan to improve the environment has arrived. Entitled A Green Future, it is bold, wide ranging and long term in its thinking. Its scope is the land, the seas around us and the sky above us. It considers the UK, its overseas territories and the international community, and the subjects covered range from saving rare species to improving health and well-being. The very fact that the long-delayed plan has been produced at all is a considerable achievement, and should give us hope.
Much to be welcomed
There is much to be welcomed in the content of the plan too. It establishes or confirms some important principles, such as Environmental Net Gain in built development. There are some interesting ideas, such as the revolving land bank in rural areas. And the commitment to restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich landscape outside legally protected areas is one of a handful of hard targets that we can hold the government to.