Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Labour and trade union lash out at Government pledge to boost environmentalism

Labour’s secretary of state for the environment Steve Reed said the Tory party is overseeing the ‘destruction’ of the British countryside (Peter Byrne, PA)
Labour’s secretary of state for the environment Steve Reed said the Tory party is overseeing the ‘destruction’ of the British countryside (Peter Byrne, PA)

The Government has announced a new environmental package designed to boost Britain’s access to nature ahead of the upcoming Cop28 summit.

But the announcement has failed to impress a trade union and the Labour Party, both lashing out at the Tories for eroding the environment.

The Government’s environmental package aims to “connect the public with the natural world” by improving access to green space and declaring a new part of England as a national park.

The green plan also promises further funding for existing protected landscapes with 34 new landscape recovery projects across England to cover over 200,000 hectares of land, including woodlands, rainforests and sustainable food production.

The environmental push will also allocate more funding to connect children with nature and put nature at the “forefront of government efforts” to tackle climate change.

Labour’s shadow secretary of state for the environment, Steve Reed MP said the Tory party is overseeing the “destruction” of the British countryside.

“Under their watch, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and waterways face the highest levels of illegal sewage discharges in our history,” he said.

The general secretary of the Prospect trade union Mike Clancy also took issue with the Government’s nature announcement.

“Bold-sounding initiatives can’t hide the true state of our rivers, shorelines and natural landscapes,” he said.

Global Investment Summit
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he is ‘keeping nature at centre of our action to tackle climate change’. (Stefan Rousseau, PA)

Mr Clancy also hit out at Tory funding cuts to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, adding that the department’s budget is expected to be cut by more than £500 million by the end of next year.

“Without adequate funding for the guardians of our natural environment, there is little chance the Government’s rhetoric will be able to meet its stated ambition,” he said.

The series of nature pledges comes ahead of Cop28 in Dubai later this week, a summit that calls for examining governmental responses to climate change.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he shared the nation’s anger at the tree culling at the Sycamore Gap earlier this year, adding that it fundamentally demonstrated Britons’ love for the environment.

Sycamore Gap tree felled
Forensic investigators from Northumbria Police examine the felled Sycamore Gap tree in September (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“We must do all it takes to protect these much-loved spaces and ensure that love for the natural world continues into the next generations,” Mr Sunak said.

“As I head to COP28, we are reasserting the UK’s leading role in promoting our iconic landscapes and keeping nature at the centre of our action to tackle climate change.”

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay added that the Government needed to deliver on its commitment to halt the decline of Britain’s natural landscapes.

“A healthy natural environment is critical for our wellbeing, our economy and combatting climate change,” he said.