'Halting the Decline of Nature'
The U.K. Government has promised to "halt the decline of nature" as part of a new drive to improve the environment.
More trees are to be planted, the sale of peat will be banned and new targets will be set to return species such as wildcats and beavers to the countryside. The measures include a legally binding 2030 target to address wildlife loss.
Addressing Biodiversity Crisis
Environment Secretary George Eustice described the move as "a huge step forward". In a speech from Delamere Forest, in Cheshire, he said: "We hope that this will be the net zero equivalent for nature, spurring action of the scale required to address the biodiversity crisis."
Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: "This has the potential to inspire the investment and action needed to protect and restore wildlife, after a century of decline."
Tree Planting to Treble
The government also plans to treble tree planting rates in England to 7,000 hectares of new woodland a year by 2024. There will also be funding to provide incentives for landowners and farmers to plant and manage trees, and at least three community forests will be created.
Abi Bunker, Director of Conservation and External Affairs at the Woodland Trust, said the UK's woodland cover had nearly tripled since 1900, but much of the increase has been low diversity forestry plantations.