New body proposed to regulate nature
A PROPOSAL for a new independent body to advise and challenge government on environmental legislation has been welcomed as an ambitious idea by farmers.
The vice-president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Guy Smith, said it would provide a chance for the industry to influence regulation post-2019 when Britain leaves the European Union.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that Ministers will consult on whether a new independent, statutory body to advise and challenge government and potentially other public bodies on environmental laws should be established. Ministers would be able to step in when needed to hold public bodies to account and enforce standards.
Emphasising his vow to deliver a “Green Brexit”, Mr Gove said: “We will consult on creating an independent body – encouraging transparency and preventing careless or irresponsible behaviour damaging our natural environment.”
Mr Smith said: “The proposals appear ambitious and will provide an opportunity for agriculture to work in partnership with government to help shape a new approach to the regulation of our environment post-Brexit.
“Our interests in this new body and the policy principles will be in how these are framed to support productive agriculture, while protecting our soils, water and wildlife and how these can ensure that our regulatory regimes have appropriate levels of regulatory equivalence with trading partners to maximise the potential and fairness of our trading relationships.”
At this time of the year Britain’s smallest rodents are collecting berries and seeds to sustain them through winter. Harvest mice can be spotted climbing through meadows and hedgerows but their numbers are thought to be in decline.