The government must achieve “courageous and ambitious goals for nature” in the Oxford-Cambridge arc

Conservation organizations urge the government to support and implement the environmental policies of local leaders to protect, restore and improve the natural environment in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

A group of conservation organizations has welcomed the local government’s new environmental policy to protect, restore and improve the natural environment in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc – including doubling the area mainly farmed for nature.

The four charities – the RSPB; the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire; The Woodland Trust; and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust – urge ministers to take all necessary steps to ensure these goals are met in order to meet the promise that the Arc will be an example of the 25 year environmental plan.

Turtle Dove, Copyright Glyn Sellors, from the Surfbirds Galleries

Emma Marsh, RSPB England Director: “If the Oxford-Cambridge Arch is to be operational it must be done in a way that will help resolve the natural and climatic emergency we are in. It must not be allowed to increase the problems. These principles contain some really bold and ambitious goals for the outdoors that are widely supported by councilors and business leaders, universities and local business partnerships. The government, and particularly the ministers responsible for economics, economics, housing, transport and the environment, must support these goals and contribute to the achievement of these goals if they are to keep their promise to make the arch to an example for the 25-year environmental plan. ”

John Comont, Wildlife Trust’s Director of Conservation for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire: “Those in charge of the local authorities in the Arc counties have given their views on how the environment should be taken into account when thinking about developments in our region. The challenge they have faced is significant. The crucial demands that development should only take place within the environmental limits and, in addition to doubling the area mainly cultivated for nature, set a high bar for plans for the region, which must, however, be met if we are to start to reverse the effects of decades of decline in the state of the natural environment. “

Toby Bancroft, Woodland Trust Regional Director, Central England: “The Environmental Principles provide a strong framework to ensure that any development in the growth arc is environmentally sound. We are pleased that they include the protection of important habitats and a significant increase in tree cover from 7.4% to 19%. It is important that the principles are translated into planning policy through the proposed arch-wide spatial strategy. “

Matthew Stanton, Director of Planning, Policy and Legal Affairs at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust: “If development goes beyond the curve, nature not only has to be at the center of the plans, it has to come first. The level of investment in nature cannot depend on investment in development. We must protect nature as a priority and support the demand of local leaders that all developments be within the environmental limits of the arch. The government must raise its own environmental ambitions for the Arc and ensure plans restore nature rather than destroy it. A good first step would be to formally cancel the OxCam Expressway. “

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