Environment cuts prompt call for new deal on nature

RSPB Media Release

 Cuts to the environment budget announced today (Wed, June 26) prove the need for a radical rethink on how we protect our threatened wildlife.

That’s the message from the RSPB following today’s announcement that Department for Environment, Food and rural Affairs (Defra), alongside several other Government departments, is set to be hit with a ten per cent cut. Added to the cuts that have already been announced, this leaves Defra’s budget at almost half where it was in 2010 in real terms. Today’s cut is likely to fall disproportionately on conservation as spending on flooding issues and the badger cull is likely to be protected.

The news comes a month after the groundbreaking State of Nature report was launched by Sir David Attenborough and 25 leading conservation organisations which revealed that our wildlife is in serious trouble with 60 per cent of UK species in decline.

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, said: “These latest cuts signal the urgent need for a sea change in the way we protect our wildlife.

“Clearly Defra is not alone in suffering cuts on this scale and with the economy in the shape it’s in it we would be foolish not to expect the coat to get cut to fit the cloth.

“However the State of Nature report published in May laid the facts bare about the worrying declines in our native species. Without investment in the future of our natural environment the situation will only get worse.

“This is why we need a radical rethink of how we, as a nation which has pioneered conservation work over several decades, can protect our plants, animals, rivers, seas and landscapes.

“If the Government will not pay for environmental protection in the same way it has done in the past then we need to think hard about how we reverse wildlife declines. The environment must be central to thinking across government departments. Charities, businesses and landowners can do more but the Government must lead by example.

“The £11bn of savings made today is set to be invested in infrastructure projects tomorrow. It is essential that these roads and bridges are planned with wildlife in mind – and that we are also investing in our natural capital, the habitats and species which are so important for our health and wellbeing.

“The environment is not a luxury in times of plenty, it is essential for our future and we have an obligation to care for it for future generations.”


Peregrine falcon site located in the Forest of Bowland where eggs have been removed. As many as 16 additional Peregrine nesting territories have now been found abandoned in the last two years altogether, leaving only a single occupied site that we are aware of. This alarming detail is being swept under the carpet to avoid a major national scandal and embarrassment of those organisations who have allowed this to happen. 

Perhaps of most concern has been the total disappearance of 16 nesting pairs of Peregrine falcons from the robbed and abandoned nesting territories throughout the Forest of Bowland. That’s a loss of a minimum of 32 adult Peregrine falcons, vanished off the face of the earth in just 24 months.  

3 comments to Environment cuts prompt call for new deal on nature

  • nirofo

    No doubt the shooting estate owners and their minions will be laughing all the way to the next publicly subsidised Grouse shoot. Maybe the government could make some large public purse savings by cutting off this totally wasted flow flow of cash to the already well heeled landlords. On second thoughts that would be like the government cutting off it’s nose to spite it’s face!!!

  • paul williams

    Raptor Persecution Scotland shared a link.

    Environment Minister announces ‘further measures’ to tackle raptor persecution
    The Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse has today announced what he calls ‘further measures’ to tackle the on-going problem of illegal raptor persecution in Scotland. Here is his statement in full…

  • £11b savings today to pay for the overspend on the generally unwanted and unnecessary HS2

    Why would this government listen to anyone as knowledgeable at Sir David when they have their other sirs to pander too