The UK Government has announced that a further £40 million will be invested in the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund which will go towards creating and retaining thousands of jobs to address the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.
The projects to be funded are yet to be announced but may include action towards the creation or restoration of priority habitats, preventing or cleaning up pollution, woodland creation, peatland and wetland restoration and actions to help people connect with nature.
The government has also announced that there will be new designations of National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty in England, and 10 “Landscape Recovery” projects will also be launched across England over the next four years to restore peatlands, woodlands and create wilder landscapes. The projects will be established through the Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
As we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic, we are committed to shaping a cleaner and more resilient society to protect and restore our natural environment and diverse ecosystems.
Today’s announcement illustrates how we are leading the world in protecting the natural environment and combating climate change.
By starting the process for designating more of our beautiful and iconic landscapes as National Parks and AONBs, and through the new Landscape Recovery projects, we will help expand and protect precious wildlife habitats and, vitally, increase people’s access to our treasured landscapes.
Plans to include National Parks and AONBs in the the government’s target to protect 30% of land for nature in England has been met with concern from green groups as these areas are not primarily designated for that purpose and many protected sites within the Parks are in poor condition.