Announced by Government

The Government has announced its roadmap to improving nature across the UK, with new commitments introduced to upgrade wastewater treatment works, restore wildlife and promote “nature-friendly” farming practices.

This long awaited Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) is intended to build on key legislative frameworks such as the 25-Year Environment Plan, the Environment Act, Agriculture Act and the Fisheries Act to create a “comprehensive delivery plan” to halt and reverse the decline of nature in the UK.

The Government says an EIP is an important tool for local authorities and organisations to take a proactive and strategic approach to environmental management, and to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into decision-making processes. It is also a valuable document for stakeholders and the public, as it provides transparency and accountability in environmental management efforts.

The Government has committed to creating and restoring at least 500,000 hectares of new wildlife habitats, including 70 new projects and 25 new or expanded National Nature Reserves. The Government will also fund the delivery of an additional 19 Nature Recovery Projects in the UK.

The EIP sets out steps to tackle sewage spills through upgrades to 160 wastewater treatment works by 2027. A plan will be created later this year to tackle and reduce water pollution from new housing developments and infrastructure and improve water efficiency.

Around 70% of the UK countryside will be impacted by the EIP, with new management schemes to be introduced to incentive farmers to adopt nature-friendly approaches. Earlier this month, Defra confirmed plans to pay each farm up to £1,000 in additional subsidies for soil health annually.

Specifically, the EIP introduces a target for 65-80% of landowners and farmers to adopt nature-friendly farming practices on 10-15% of their land by 2030. 

Other targets set to be introduced through the EIP include challenging councils to improve air quality, boosting green growth and job creation in the agri-sectors and restoring 400 miles of river through Landscape Recovery funding rounds.

New interim targets, set for 2028, will also be introduced to reduce waste streams including plastic, glass, metal, paper, and food.

The Government has also created an ambition to ensure that every home is within a 15-minute walk from a green space or water such as woodlands, wetlands, parks and rivers.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.