How do you want England’s natural environment to look?

Defra has today launched a discussion document, entitled ‘An invitation to shape the Nature of England’.  The document is inviting your views and encouraging debate about how we can best protect and enhance our natural environment, and the valuable services we derive from it.  The discussion will inform the publication of a Natural Environment White Paper in Spring 2011, which is one of the commitments in Defra’s Structural Reform Plan.

The Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman launched the document at an event at Kew Gardens today, and said:

“We have the opportunity to be the generation that puts a stop to the piecemeal degradation of our natural environment.  We want to see a real positive change in the future of our natural environment – one which supports a stronger economy and better quality life.  This discussion document will allow everyone to shape the White Paper, which will aim to halt this decline and recognise that nature is our ultimate producer and supplier.”

You can submit comments online, by email or by post.  Information on how to comment, an opportunity to sign up for regular updates, and links to the discussion paper and summary can be found on this page.  The deadline for responses is 30 October and the White Paper will be published in Spring 2011.

We want all interested parties to have a say in shaping the development of the White Paper.  To this end, the Defra natural environment team are encouraging national organisations who already have a relationship with local groups, societies, consumers or individuals, to engage them.  For example, NGOs who have local groups or large memberships, civil society organisations who are in touch with local civic groups, and any businesses who wish to engage their consumers on White Paper issues.  Organisations such as these may wish to disseminate the discussion document electronically to encourage grass-roots responses back to their national organisation, or direct to roots engagement.

In addition, the Defra natural environment team will be looking to work with national organisations to facilitate the engagement of local groups and members.  If your organisation would be interested in this please contact the team by email at:

For more information please see Defra’s biodiversity web pages.

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  1. [...] conservation.  Yesterday the coalition Government launched an important consultation ‘An Invitation to shape the Nature of England’ – we’ll be responding and making a positive contribution to the Natural [...]

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