More than 15,000 people and organisations have responded to a Defra request for ideas on how to improve the English environment, the biggest ever response to an information gathering project in preparation for a ground-breaking White Paper on the subject.
According to Defra, “The natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, health and wellbeing. The aim of the White Paper is to set out a clear framework for protecting and enhancing the things that nature gives us for free, which are too often taken for granted.”
Thanking everyone for their responses, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman commented: “I’m delighted with the overwhelming response that we have had to our call for ideas on the Natural Environment White Paper. We’ve received over 15,000 replies from individuals, NGOs and businesses, which goes to show that people really care about the natural environment and want a say in how it is managed.
“This is exactly the kind of debate that we had hoped to stimulate. A healthy environment is something that we all need, and all enjoy, so it’s vital that people get involved. We will take these ideas forward as we look to create a new vision for our natural environment and seek opportunities to enhance its value.”
Said Stephanie Hilborne, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, who is delighted with the response: “This overwhelming response provides a clear message to the Government that people care passionately about the natural environment and want to see bold and ambitious action to support its recovery.”