Packham joins protest against unprecedented attack on nature laws

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The demonstration, organised jointly by the RSPB, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust, was held at Bassetts Mead country park, in Hook, Hampshire, yesterday. Hundreds of Britain’s environmental laws covering water quality, sewage pollution, clean air, habitat protections and the use of pesticides are lined up for removal from UK law under a government bill.

Chris, host of BBC’s Autumnwatch, said: “Millions of wildlife lovers up and down the country are outraged, scared and worried about this apparent attack on nature, and the message we are hearing is that ‘we will not stand for this’.”

Debbie Tann, chief executive of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “The Government’s ‘growth, growth, growth’ agenda has painted environmental rules as ‘burdens’ and key nature protection laws are due to be consigned to history by the end of next year.

“Valuable nature sites like here at Bassetts Mead, which offer a home for wildlife as well as a space for quiet recreation, have only been made possible by the very laws the Government now seeks to remove.

“Local people here in the environment secretary’s constituency are saying it is wrong to pit the economy against nature.”

Emma Marsh, RSPB executive director, said: “The new Government has yet to provide the reassurances we and others have sought. In fact, the little information made available has made us even more alarmed that the Government’s plans do not take nature into account.”

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill was laid before parliament on September 22.

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