The Independent reports the government’s long-awaited environment bill contains too many usages of the term “biodiversity”, where “nature” could be used instead as it is a “sexier word … with more public traction”, the House of Lords has heard.
According to Conservative former minister Lord Blencathra, the term “nature” commands greater understanding than “biodiversity”, and people can more readily relate to it.
BBC News reports a committee of MPs has lambasted the UK government’s approach to nature, saying it is failing to stem huge losses of plants and species. Their report says that the UK has the lowest remaining levels of biodiversity among the world’s richer nations.
The MPs say the government spends far more on exploiting the natural environment than it does conserving it. They’re calling for legally binding targets for nature similar to the UK’s climate laws.
The Times reports conservationists have warned that bee and insect hotels for sale in retailers including Dunnes Stores and Lidl, as well as in many garden centres, could have a sting in the tail: they may not help many bees and could be harmful if used incorrectly.
Natural England announced Thursday 24 June that the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is to be considered for boundary expansion. Securing this designation would allow the area to benefit from greater protections, so that more of England’s beautiful landscapes are safeguarded for future generations.
On the doorstep of London, an extension to the Surrey Hills AONB boundary would give greater access to the natural environment. This would help preserve its rural heritage, promote tranquillity and give more access to nature for the benefit of people’s health and well-being.
Sky News reports the first-of-its-kind project will aim to help regenerate vital habitats, fight climate change and boost the economy. The area was once home to a vast kelp forest, stretching across 172 square kilometres, but 90% of it has been lost in recent decades.
The move could also be the first step in an even bigger project: the creation of a Sussex Bay marine park stretching along the entire coast of East Sussex and West Sussex.
BBC News reports the eagles, the UK’s largest bird of prey, have since been observed searching for suitable nest sites, suggesting they intend to stay. It is believed that this is the first time sea eagles have settled at Loch Lomond since the early 20th Century.
Persecution and habitat changes led to their extinction across the UK some time soon after 1918. Their reintroduction to Scotland, first in the 1970s and again in the 1990s and early 2000s, has been a conservation success.
The Guardian reports they are cute and furry, and could become the UK’s next major non-native pest. Raccoon dogs, an exotic member of the fox family that is native to Japan, China and Siberia, are one of the most destructive invasive species at risk of becoming established in Britain, experts say.
A “horizon scanning” study funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs identified the raccoon dog and the raccoon as the only mammals on a list of 20 invasive species likely to reach UK shores and destroy native wildlife or bring disease.
The Guardian reports the UK government has announced plans to increase protection of wildlife and habitats by banning fishing and other damaging activities from a handful of selected marine sites off the coast of England.
The pilot scheme of at least five highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was welcomed by the Wildlife Trusts as a “historic” move that would allow degraded underwater habitats to recover and set a new standard for marine protection.
ITV News reports climate change and overfishing are threatening England’s native seabirds – the kittiwakes. Their numbers have halved since the 1960s. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is warning about the devastating impact of humans on England’s native Kittiwake.
Its message coincides with World Oceans Day. Dr Euan Dunn, from the RSPB said: “The sea is warming dramatically around us and that is unravelling the food web, particularly hitting sand eels, the staple diet of kittiwakes, very dependent on this small shoaling fish.”