News Round-Up

Conservation commitments should focus on the best places to protect rare species, new study suggests


The Prime Minister has pledged to protect 30 per cent of land to support the recovery of nature, but a new study finds that much of the new land that has been allocated to meet this aspiration is not in the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation.

Currently, only nine per cent of Britain’s land area has a legal status that specifically mandates biodiversity protection.

The UK 30by30 commitment includes land that is currently designated as ‘protected landscapes’ in England, such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but these areas were not originally chosen nor managed for biodiversity.

New research by the University of York and Natural England finds that 58 per cent of British ‘protected landscapes’ lie outside the highest 30 per cent priority land for species conservation. MORE

Header image: Under existing commitments, wheat fields in the Howardian Hills are considered to be delivering for nature. Credit: Charles Cunningham.