Dr Peter Brotherton, Natural England’s Director for Specialist Services and Programmes, reflects on the Lawton report 10 years on.
Exactly ten years ago, on 16 September 2010, I had the privilege of submitting the Making Space for Nature report to government on behalf of Professor Sir John Lawton and his panel of experts. The report was strongly evidence-based and the culmination of a year’s work by Sir John and his panel, which was drawn from academia, nature conservation, local government, land owning, farming and business sectors. Natural England was represented on the panel by our then Chief Scientist, Tom Tew, and provided the secretariat (me!).
Making Space for Nature – now widely known as the Lawton report – had immediate policy impact, shaping both the Natural Environment White Paper and the Biodiversity 2020 strategy. After a decade, many reports become outdated, but the main conclusions of the Lawton report have stood the test of time and been supported by recent research. Perhaps because of this, the report continues to inform government current policy, not least the 25 Year Environment Plan. MORE
Header image: Natural England.