Thank you all the constituents who contacted me about the Vote for Bob RSPB Campaign. Locally, in North East Bedfordshire, we are lucky enough to house the RSPB Headquarters at The Lodge in Sandy, of which I am an active supporter. It is a wonderfully equipped centre that gives a great introduction as to what the RSPB do, as well as a place where you are able to learn about preservation and protection of all types of wildlife. I am glad to tell you all that, nationally, the Conservative Party is committed to protecting our natural environment and safeguarding animal and plant health. The UK’s vibrant native ecosystem is one of our most precious inheritances. 

It is a fact, however, that biodiversity is under pressure; many of our bird, butterfly and plant species are threatened. That’s why I’m proud that the Government published the first Natural Environment White Paper for 20 years and established a proper strategy, Biodiversity 2020, aimed at halting and reversing this decline. Progress is being monitored through annual statistics and there is plenty of scope for public engagement, with the latest news, including on how local conservation groups can contribute, spread through social media. 

£7.5 million has been provided to establish 12 Nature Improvement Areas across the country: these are large areas containing more and better-connected habitats, providing space for wildlife to thrive. 24,000 acres of priority habitats are being created, along with 3,300 acres of woodland. England’s woodland cover is expanding at a rate not seen since the fourteenth century.

The Government is also on track to plant one million trees in towns, cities and neighbourhoods across England by the end of the Parliament and more than 945 miles of hedges have been restored and planted. It has also helped clean up 9,500 miles of rivers and 625 square miles of lakes. There is of course more to do. Please keep up your support of the RSPB, with more information available at their website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/t/thelodge/index.aspx