At both conferences, we were also pleased to be part of events organised in association with the Greener UK coalition of environmental NGOs, which focused on building support for ensuring that EU environmental protections are comprehensively carried over into domestic legislation when we leave the EU. In Manchester, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, spoke at a reception to welcome this work and the challenge that Greener UK has set the Government.
Elsewhere, in his speech to the party faithful in the main conference hall, we were pleased to hear Mr Gove lamenting the loss of ancient woodland. However, and as we explained to him and his colleagues, the Government’s current proposals (set out in the Housing White Paper) to improve protection for this irreplaceable habitat will unfortunately not do the job in practice. It is vital that as the NPPF comes up for review in the coming months, we keep up the pressure to get the wording updated so that loss of ancient woodland becomes “wholly exceptional”. Without this, the Government will fail to deliver on its commitment to leave the environment in a better state than it inherited it. If you haven’t already you can take part in our action campaign.
Finally, we will also be in Glasgow hosting an event at the Scottish National Party conference on 9 October, and will bring you news of this when it happens.