Lord Randall of Uxbridge Portrait

Lord Randall of Uxbridge

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 25th June 2018


Committee of Privileges
11th Sep 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Committee on Standards
11th Sep 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Joint Committee on Security
1st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Modern Slavery Bill
9th Jan 2014 - 3rd Apr 2014
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
12th May 2010 - 7th Oct 2013
Opposition Assistant Chief Whip (Commons)
10th Dec 2005 - 6th May 2010
Members' Allowances
9th Feb 2009 - 6th May 2010
Administration Committee
12th Jul 2007 - 3rd Mar 2009
Opposition Whip (Commons)
30th Jun 2003 - 10th Dec 2005
Finance and Services Committee
17th Jul 2005 - 19th Jul 2005
Transport Committee
25th Mar 2003 - 12th Jul 2005
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Feb 2000 - 10th Mar 2003
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
20th Jul 1998 - 21st Feb 2000


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Randall of Uxbridge has voted in 356 divisions, and 41 times against the majority of their Party.

18 Mar 2021 - Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 217 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 252 Noes - 274
17 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 326 Noes - 248
10 Mar 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 212 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 241
10 Mar 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 283 Noes - 245
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 208 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
30 Nov 2020 - High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 217 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 276 Noes - 259
30 Nov 2020 - High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 198 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 57 Noes - 234
30 Nov 2020 - High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 185 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 38 Noes - 222
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 44 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 433
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 134 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 407
21 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 209 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 242
21 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 197 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 166 Noes - 237
20 Oct 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 39 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 395 Noes - 169
20 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 183 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 200
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 202 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 323 Noes - 227
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 192 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 276 Noes - 228
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 185 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 307 Noes - 212
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 249 Noes - 200
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 145 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 266 Noes - 159
15 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 182 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 258 Noes - 208
24 Jun 2020 - Fisheries Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 205 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 289 Noes - 230
22 Jun 2020 - Fisheries Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 310 Noes - 251
20 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 213 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 236
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 178 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 114 Noes - 207
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 161 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 207 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 59 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 60
28 Feb 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative Aye votes vs 85 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 89
20 Jul 2022 - Slavery and Human Trafficking (Definition of Victim) Regulations 2022 - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 90 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 121 Noes - 91
8 Jun 2023 - Financial Services and Markets Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 148 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 193 Noes - 159
13 Jun 2023 - Financial Services and Markets Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 176 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 212 Noes - 203
3 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 149 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 218 Noes - 158
3 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 145 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 214 Noes - 150
3 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 148 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 154
12 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 137 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 220 Noes - 141
12 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 136 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 207 Noes - 140
13 Sep 2023 - Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 135 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 189 Noes - 145
12 Sep 2023 - Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 23 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 30 Noes - 39
6 Mar 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 155 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 244 Noes - 160
6 Mar 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Randall of Uxbridge voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 160 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 171
View All Lord Randall of Uxbridge Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(29 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Environment Act 2021
(13,716 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(5,660 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(5,605 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Randall of Uxbridge's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Randall of Uxbridge, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


2 Bills introduced by Lord Randall of Uxbridge


A Bill to prohibit the use of raised laying or battery cages to keep certain game birds for the purpose of producing eggs; to set minimum space requirements for enclosures for such birds; and for connected purposes

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 25th March 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to repeal the Hares Preservation Act 1892 and to make provision to prohibit the killing or taking of hares during the breeding season.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 23rd January 2020
(Read Debate)

Lord Randall of Uxbridge has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
2nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to hold further consultations on charity lottery limits; and when they will be held.

Society lottery limits were last increased as part of a wider package of reforms in 2020. These reforms were reviewed 12 months after they were implemented. The results of the review were published in March 2022, and can be accessed on the gov.uk website. The review concluded that it was too soon to reach any firm view on the impact of the changes, especially during a time when the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic made evaluation more difficult, and that more data on annual growth of the sector were required before considering any further changes. Officials continue to work with the Gambling Commission, as part of its regulatory role, to keep the sector under review.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations Ministers have received on the potential for appointing a deputy lieutenant for the county of Middlesex.

There is no Lieutenancy for the county of Middlesex and therefore no potential to appoint a Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to re-establishing the roles of Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex.

The allocation of Lieutenancies to counties was set out in the 1997 Lieutenancies Act and there are currently no proposals to amend it.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Drax about the sustainability of their supply chains in relation to the cutting down of primary forests.

The UK only supports sustainable biomass use which can deliver genuine Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions savings compared to fossil fuels. Ofgem is responsible for auditing the sustainability of biomass used by biomass electricity generators which receive support under the Renewables Obligation and has a process in place for this.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the projected impact of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) on household energy bills.

The Government is developing a response to its consultation on the terms of support for power BECCS. A key factor in assessing these terms is affordability for consumers and no decision has yet been taken on how power BECCS will be funded. The response will be published in 2023.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce the Committee on Climate Change's hierarchy of uses for timber favouring non-burning applications; and whether subsidies will reflect this hierarchy.

In line with the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations, the Government is developing an evidence-based priority use framework for biomass across the economy. This framework will consider the decarbonisation potential of different end uses alongside wider environmental and economic impacts, to inform how biomass can best contribute towards net zero. The Government's forthcoming biomass strategy will support decisions around future Government support for biomass.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to reassess biomass electricity's classification as both a renewable and carbon neutral energy source.

The Government considers sustainable biomass a renewable, low carbon energy source.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of tree felling to provide fuel for UK power stations (1) in the UK, and (2) overseas.

The Government only supports the use of biomass for energy generation where it complies with our strict sustainability criteria. The sustainability criteria require, among other things, that where biomass is sourced from forests, irrespective of its location, it needs to be sourced from forest areas which are managed in a way that is consistent with sustainable forest management practices.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the British Overseas Territories have had (1) the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and (2) the Paris Agreement, extended to them as of May 2021.

The UK Overseas Territories Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the Falkland Islands have had UK ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change extended to them. Currently no UK Overseas Territories have had UK ratification of the Paris Agreement extended to them.

The Department is consulting with UK Overseas Territories as to whether they would like to have the UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement extended to them.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to extend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas.

The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia comprise a UK Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus. UK ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has not been extended to the Sovereign Base Areas. The Department will consult with the Sovereign Base Areas should they formally request the extension.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing from England to Cape Cod.

We welcome events which celebrate our rich global heritage, and the 400th anniversary celebrations of the Mayflower setting sail to the United States offers a unique opportunity to do this.

I am pleased that we have provided significant funding to the Mayflower 400 organisers, who are responsible for delivering the commemorations. This is demonstrated by the £750,000 of funding my Department has provided through VisitEngland, which will help to ensure a strong legacy for the commemorations across the UK and globally.

In 2015, DCMS provided £35,000 to invest in the Mayflower museum. Last year, we also awarded Plymouth £3.5m through the Cultural Development Fund - part of which will support digital product development for Mayflower’s programme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide support to the theatre sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government will continue to support theatres through the unprecedented financial measures we have announced. DCMS has also worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England, made possible by Government funding.

Alongside this, DCMS continues to engage with the sector extensively in order to best understand the challenges faced. We are working closely with the Arts Council to consider the additional support that may be needed to support the long-term recovery of the cultural sector, including theatres.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they will make to any disparities between the length of time schools have been closed closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak when implementing the timetable the 2020/21 GCSE and A-level exams.

The department recognises that students due to sit exams and assessments next year will have experienced disruption to their education due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The government is committed to working closely with Ofqual to ensure that next year’s exam series proceeds fairly, and students receive the qualifications they deserve. Ofqual has already consulted on a range of possible adaptations to GCSE, AS and A level exams and assessments next year on a subject-by-subject basis, and has announced some changes that will reduce pressure on teaching time, and help ensure those young people taking exams next year have the same opportunities to progress as the students before them.

As for the timing of exams next year, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, asked Ofqual in June to consider a short delay to the GCSE, A and AS level exam timetable in 2021, to free up additional teaching time. We are continuing to work with Ofqual, the exam boards, regulators in the devolved administrations, and groups representing schools, colleges and higher education to consider the best approach, and decisions will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The government has also provided a £1 billion fund of catch up premium designed to support schools in making up for some lost learning time.

15th Apr 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in reforming incentives, including subsidies for ecologically harmful activities, as required under Target 18 of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

In May 2024, the UK plans to publish its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), which will set out national targets and policies for implementing targets in the Global Biodiversity Framework, including Target 18. This will include a target to identify any incentives and subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity. The UK already has a positive story to tell on reforming incentives through our work to deliver the Agricultural Transition. Our Environmental Land Management schemes will incentivise farmers to improve biodiversity, soil health and air and water quality, reduce agricultural emissions, restore peatland, and establish and restore woodlands and forests.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their timetable for the (1) introduction, and (2) implementation, of activity regulations under the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023.

The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023 provides a framework for the introduction of future bans on the advertising and offering for sale, in England and Northern Ireland, of low-welfare animal activities abroad.

Future decisions on which specific animal activities will fall in scope of the advertising ban will be evidence-based and subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. Sufficient, compelling evidence will be required to demonstrate why any specific advertising ban is needed.

This Government continues to make animal welfare a priority and we are currently exploring a number of options to ensure progress as soon as is practicable.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to expedite the delivery of the apex goal set out in the Executive Summary of the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 to halt the decline in biodiversity and achieve 'thriving plants and wildlife'.

We are committed to meeting our ambitious target to halt and then reverse species decline and are accelerating action towards delivery.

In June last year we launched a multi-million-pound Species Survival Fund to provide early progress towards our species abundance targets and support the recovery of declining species. The fund will support projects focussed on the creation and restoration of wildlife-rich habitats, including on protected sites.

Through Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme Capital Grant Scheme, launched April 2023, we have also provided £14.5M of funding for 63 projects delivered in partnership with 74 different organisations to take action to halt and reverse the decline of 150 rare species, including the critically endangered European eel and the Greater Mouse-eared bat.

In November we announced the 34 projects selected for the £25 million second round of our Landscape Recovery scheme. These projects will collectively restore more than 35,000 hectares of peatland, sustainably manage more than 20,000 hectares of woodland, including some temperate rainforest, create over 7,000 hectares of new woodland and benefit more than 160 protected sites (SSSIs). This builds on the success of the first 22 Landscape Recovery projects which are already underway, aiming to restore more than 600 km of rivers and targeting the conservation of more than 260 flagship species. This is alongside increased incentives, announced in January, for farmers to deliver environmental outcomes which will support habitats and species through our Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship schemes.

We are also rolling out Nature Recovery Projects across the country to create improved and better-connected habitats for wildlife and improve public access to nature. In July 2023 we launched a further six projects covering over 176,000 ha of land across England. These projects build on the G7 legacy project in Cornwall launched in 2021 and the five other nature recovery projects launched in 2022 which together span around 120,200 hectares.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to publish a timebound strategy to meet their legal obligation to aim that fishing occurs at sustainable levels.

As an independent coastal state, the UK now sets catch limits through negotiations with other coastal states, led by the best available science. In line with the sustainability objective in the Fisheries Act 2020, our aim is to achieve environmentally sustainable outcomes as well as socio-economic benefits. The UK Joint Fisheries Statement, published last November, lists 43 Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) to be developed across the UK and sets out a timetable for their publication. The FMPs will set out policies to maintain or increase stocks to sustainable levels (or contribute to doing so). Our FMPs will contain short-, medium- and long-term time bound actions to be delivered over the lifetime of the plan. The actions are to support the sustainable management of fish stocks – they are based on the best available evidence and input from the fishing sector. We plan to publish the first FMPs by the end of this year.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, in agreeing sustainable fishing catch limits for 2024–26 with the EU, what consideration they have given to advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, and whether these limits will or will not exceed this advice.

As an independent coastal State, the UK sets total allowable catches (TACs) through negotiations with other coastal States led by the best scientific advice, including advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) on maximum sustainable yield (MSY). For the majority of stocks TACs will be set for 2024, with a small number agreed biennially through to 2025.

Per our obligations under the Fisheries Act 2020 and Joint Fisheries Statement, we seek to achieve, or contribute to the achievement of the fisheries objectives. In particular, we strive to deliver environmental sustainability, including increasing the total number of stocks fished at MSY, as well as economic benefits. In early 2024, following the conclusion of the annual fisheries negotiations, the Government will publish an independent assessment of the number of TACs set consistent with ICES advice for 2024.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on (1) legal protections for European protected species, and (2) the population of such protected species in England.

Nature is in need of our help. We have been clear about the importance of environmental protection across the United Kingdom, not least through our world leading Environment Act, which sets a new legally binding target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030 and we are developing an extensive policy programme to deliver that.

In reviewing retained EU law, Defra’s aim is to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst also ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently. This will ensure the UK regulatory framework is appropriate and tailored to the UK. The Government has been clear that any changes to REUL will not have the effect of reducing the levels of environmental protection.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to engage with environmental groups before making any decisions regarding the exercise of the powers proposed in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill; and if so, how.

Defra has routinely met environmental stakeholders since the introduction of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill to sight them on developments as the Bill passes through Parliament. Defra will continue to engage stakeholders as it takes steps to create laws and regulations in the interests of the UK. Defra is committed to engaging with stakeholders to ensure policy decisions are well-informed and result in benefits for both citizens and business.

Defra is in the process of analysing its REUL stock to determine what should be preserved as part of domestic law, and what should be repealed, or amended. In reviewing retained EU law, Defra’s aim is to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst also ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently. This will ensure the UK regulatory framework is appropriate and tailored to the UK.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will retain the protections for species afforded by the the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

My department is carefully considering the retained EU law (REUL) caught by the sunset clause in the REUL Bill, which will include the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (the Habitats Regulations). In reviewing retained EU law, Defra’s aim is to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst also ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently. This will ensure the UK regulatory framework is appropriate and tailored to the UK. The Government has been clear that any changes to REUL will not have the effect of reducing the levels of environmental protection.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on their ability to halt biodiversity loss arising from the relevant officials being diverted to work on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

There is no impact. In reviewing retained EU law, Defra’s aim is to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst also ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of investing water company fines into improving waterways.

On Wednesday 30th November we announced we will be channelling money from water company fines into schemes to improve the environment. The announcement is available on .gov.uk at the webpage here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/water-company-fines-to-be-channelled-into-environmental-improvements.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support farmers who (1) improve water quality, and (2) reduce flooding.

Farmers and land managers have an important role to play in reducing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion to both rural and urban areas. As well as protecting more than 300,000 homes, the 2015-2021 £2.6bn flood investment programme reduced the risk of flooding to nearly 600,000 acres of agricultural land. The 2021-27 capital programme will offer increased protection to approximately 370,000 acres of agricultural land.

Current offers to support farmers include the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme, which supports farmers to improve water quality and manage flood risk through a range of grants and advice from Catchment Sensitive Farming. Grants to improve water quality include buffer strips that help reduce the risk of pollutants being transported to watercourses and capital grants to reduce run off of dirty water. Support to manage flood risk include grants to control runoff and make space for water.

We are also introducing our new Environmental Land Management schemes, that reward environmental benefits, including water quality and protection from environmental hazards like flooding.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing improved product labelling to stop items that are unable to be flushed from blocking sewers.

We are considering various options to tackle the issues from commonly littered items, following our call for evidence. These options include a ban on the sale of wet wipes containing plastic, a mandatory ‘flush-ability’ standard, mandatory labelling on packaging, and an extended producer responsibility scheme for wipes containing plastic. We will publish an update on the responses to this call for evidence in due course.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to designate more inland bathing water sites.

Bathing waters are designated through an application process, as set out in the regulations. Local authorities, groups and individuals can apply for sites to be designated.

Defra has written to the Chief Executive of every local authority in England and other key stakeholders such as swimming associations to signpost the application process.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate to make provision for snakes in captivity to be kept in containers of at least one snake length.

Snakes are provided protection under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This means that it is an offence to cause them any unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for their welfare needs.

In England, the keeping of snakes in captivity, outside of zoos, is currently regulated by the Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (LAIA). These Regulations require any business selling animals as pets - including snakes - to be licensed. Local authorities are responsible for granting these licences, and the licences must include a general condition requiring licensees to keep all animals in an environment suitable to their species and condition. The statutory guidance to local authorities contains details in relation to the minimum welfare standards that are considered appropriate for snakes, including minimum requirements relating to vivarium size.

The statutory five-year LAIA Post-Implementation Review (PIR) is due by October 2023. As part of this review, we will be seeking views and considering evidence on the minimum standards for the size of temporary vivaria for snakes in pet selling establishments.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Darwin Plus Local fund to build local environmental conservation capacity in UK Overseas Territories will be launched by the end of the year; and whether the Darwin Plus Strategic fund to allow Overseas Territories to collaborate on larger environmental projects will open in 2023.

HM Government is committed to expanding the Darwin Plus programme. Darwin Plus Local is planned to open for applications in January 2023, ready to fund projects from April 2023. More information about the development of Darwin Plus Strategic will be published in 2023.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish the findings of the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership.

In the United Kingdom, there are currently significant evidence gaps that prevent the accurate reporting and therefore inclusion of emissions from coastal wetland habitats into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. However, through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, UK Administrations are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Defra to address key research questions relating to blue carbon. One of the first aims of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon in an Evidence Needs Statement. The Statement is likely to include identification of evidence gaps which are a barrier to the inclusion of coastal wetlands into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory as set out in a recently published report commissioned by BEIS; "Towards the inclusion of coastal wetlands in the UK LULUCF inventory" (a copy is attached to this answer).The UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership plans to publish the Evidence Needs Statement in spring 2023.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will include "a roadmap to inclusion of saltmarsh and seagrass" in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, as recommended by the Climate Change Committee in their report Briefing: Blue Carbon, published in March.

In the United Kingdom, there are currently significant evidence gaps that prevent the accurate reporting and therefore inclusion of emissions from coastal wetland habitats into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. However, through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, UK Administrations are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Defra to address key research questions relating to blue carbon. One of the first aims of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon in an Evidence Needs Statement. The Statement is likely to include identification of evidence gaps which are a barrier to the inclusion of coastal wetlands into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory as set out in a recently published report commissioned by BEIS; "Towards the inclusion of coastal wetlands in the UK LULUCF inventory" (a copy is attached to this answer).The UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership plans to publish the Evidence Needs Statement in spring 2023.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to implement the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to encourage "efforts to monitor, understand and analyse changes in the extent, condition and functioning of marine and coastal ecosystems", as set out in their report Briefing: Blue Carbon, published in March.

The United Kingdom established a new cross-Administration UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership (UKBCEP), to progress the evidence base on blue carbon habitats in UK waters and advance our commitment to protecting and restoring blue carbon habitats as a nature-based solution. Through the UKBCEP, UK Administrations are working together with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Defra to address key research questions related to blue carbon policy.

In April 2022, the UK Government launched its £140 million Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment programme, a flagship three-year R&D programme, spanning England's land, coast and sea. The programme includes mapping of blue carbon stock and sequestration rates and measuring the effects of physical damage and disturbance to the seabed (such as from bottom trawling) on blue carbon storage. This work will be used to inform marine planning and development decisions. In the programme's proof-of-concept year, the Environment Agency mapped areas within saltmarshes with different capacities to capture and store carbon, bringing the national saltmarsh zonation map up to 96.5% coverage of England's total saltmarsh habitat. The programme's work is now expanding to incorporate seagrass meadows and other coastal habitats to increase our understanding of their carbon storage and sequestration rates.

We are also improving understanding of the impact of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems. The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) synthesises the latest research and evidence on climate change impacts and predicted trends affecting those ecosystems. Established in 2005, MCCIP engages with a wide range of scientific authors and reviewers to produce updates on the evidence base. Going forward, topic updates will be provided on a rolling basis, supplying policy makers and the public with updates on the current and predicted impacts of climate change as they happen, to inform dynamic UK policy approaches to adaptation.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many of the proposed UK delegates attending the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Montreal will be from (1) UK Overseas Territories, and (2) Crown Dependencies.

As Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I will be attending CBD COP15 as part of the UK delegation, which will be led by Defra Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey. My Department continues to work closely with the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies on our plans for the meeting. The current intention is for the delegation to contain eight representatives from the Overseas Territories. We will work closely together to advocate for ambitious global targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, including targets to ensure that at least 30% of the global land and of the ocean is protected, ecosystems are restored, species population sizes are recovering, and extinctions are halted by 2050.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the key programmes that will enable delivery of the targets under the Environment Act 2021.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will bring forward the legislation for targets under the Environment Act 2021 prior to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will use the extension to the deadline for publication of targets under the Environment Act 2021 to develop a terrestrial protected areas target, as proposed by the consultation on the targets and to help meet the UK’s commitment to protecting 30 per cent of land and sea by 2030.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take in the Biomass Strategy to ensure that energy crops do not create competition with food production on high quality agricultural land.

Land availability is a key consideration of any future role for domestic biomass production. The Food Strategy, published in June 2022, commits to publishing a land use framework for England in 2023 which will set out land-use change principles to ensure food security is balanced alongside climate, environment and infrastructure outcomes. We are seeking to deliver as much as we can on our limited supply of land, to meet the full range of HM Government commitments through multifunctional landscapes.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to bring forward the Environment Act 2021 environmental targets legislation, and whether this will be before the UN Convention on Biodiversity (COP15) Part II meetings in Montreal from 7 to 19 December.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to make a statement on the key programmes that will enable delivery of the environmental targets required by the Environment Act 2021.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to use the extension to the publication of environmental targets required by the Environment Act 2021 to develop a terrestrial protected areas target in order to help meet the UK's commitment to protecting 30 per cent of land and sea by 2030.

As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set out in a written statement published on 28th October, we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.

The Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out the steps HM Government intends to take to improve the natural environment. The EIP will be reviewed to include an overview of delivery measures needed to meet targets and at least one interim target for each long-term target that has been set.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with stakeholders regarding the current outbreak of avian flu.

Defra in collaboration with the Devolved Administrations host regular avian influenza stakeholder meetings attended by organisations representing the breadth of the bird keeping sector including commercial, small scale, pet and specialist bird keepers, together with ornithological, veterinary, wildlife rehabilitation sector representatives. Expert advice is also sought by the UKs Chief Veterinary Officer and animal health policy officials through the Ornithology National Experts Group , and Great Britain Avian Exotic Disease Core Group which include representatives from across the bird keeping sector. These forums, in conjunction with facilitating transmission of information from HM Government on the latest outbreak situation, control measures and biosecurity advice to the sector, provide the opportunity for the sector to escalate questions and feedback to HM Government. Engagement with stakeholders is further facilitated through the Defra and Welsh Government Avian Influenza Wild Bird Recovery Advisory Group and the NatureScot taskforce on avian influenza, on both the impact of avian influenza on wild birds and the long term actions which may be needed to support species recovery

In addition, the Animal and Plant Health Agency is leading on a cross-government, cross-agency review of lessons from the recent outbreak which will identify what went well and areas where improvements can be made to improve the effectiveness of the response to future outbreaks. Stakeholders, including small avian farms, have fed into this process and their suggestions and concerns will be reviewed as part of this.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government why the importers of (1) Elf Bar, and (2) Geek Bar, e-cigarette brands are not on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment register.

The two brands mentioned are not on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) register because the companies that produce these brands have not registered as EEE producers for this compliance year. The Environment Agency is currently looking into the e-cigarette industry to scope out which legal entities should be obligated as producers under the WEEE regulations.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current state of avian flu in (1) the poultry industry, (2) game birds, and (3) wild birds; and what plans they have to reduce the prevalence and spread of the disease.

Outbreaks of avian influenza in both kept and wild birds continue to occur at an unprecedented scale across Europe and the UK with cases continuing to be confirmed into year two of the outbreak for the first time.

Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carry out surveillance of disease risks in the UK and around the world to help us assess the impact of current threats such as avian influenza, together with helping anticipate future threats to animal health. As part of this work, and in addition to responding to reports of avian influenza in kept birds, APHA carry out surveillance for avian influenza in wild birds to help us understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of wild bird, and what the risk to poultry including kept game birds and other captive birds is.

Defra’s disease control measures seek to contain the number of animals that need to be culled, either for disease control purposes or to safeguard animal welfare. Our approach aims to reduce adverse impacts on the rural and wider economy, the public, rural communities and the environment (including impact on wildlife), whilst protecting public health and minimising the overall cost of any outbreak. All decisions regarding the disease and prevention control measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific veterinary and ornithological advice. APHA’s risk assessments are published and available on GOV.UK through the ‘Animal diseases: international and UK monitoring’ collection and include assessments covering the poultry and gamebird sectors in addition to wild birds. In summary, the risk of incursion of highly pathogenic (HPAI) avian influenza H5 in wild birds in Great Britain is currently assessed as very high (i.e. event occurs almost certainly). The risk to poultry with stringent biosecurity is currently assessed as medium (i.e. event occurs regularly) (with high uncertainty). However, the risk to poultry exposure to HPAI H5 in Great Britain with suboptimal biosecurity is assessed as high (i.e. event occurs very often) (with low uncertainty).

Good biosecurity is the essential defence against avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in kept birds in an outbreak. To help stop the spread of avian influenza in kept birds an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been introduced in the UK. Mandatory housing measures are also in force as an additional requirement of the AIPZ in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex. Due to the escalating risk from wild birds nationally mandatory housing measures will be extended to cover the whole of England from 7 November 2022. For areas where an AIPZ is in force it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers (whether they had pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) to follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease, including where mandatory housing measures are a requirement of an AIPZ in force to keep their birds indoors.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect and expand temperate rainforests in England.

In 2021, HM Government published the England Trees Action Plan, which sets out our long-term vision for supporting and protecting trees and woodlands of all kinds.

Through the £750 million Nature for Climate Fund, we are supporting the expansion and restoration of woodlands through the England Woodland Creation Offer and the Regional Woodland Restoration Funds. The Regional Woodland Restoration Funds support proposals that will restore woodland ecological condition and bring woodlands into management. Under the South West and North West and West Midlands Innovation Funds, we encourage applications that result in the restoration of temperate rainforests along England's Atlantic fringe.

I recently met with the Lost Rainforests of Britain Campaign to understand what more we can do to increase protections for our temperate rainforests, We are looking at what further action HM Government can take.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 26 July (HL1705), what plans they have to review the close season for woodcock; and what representations they have received from (1) conservation organisations, (2) game shooting organisations, in relation to any such review.

The Secretary of State has received representations from Wild Justice and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust regarding reviewing the close season for woodcock.

In their representation, dated 21 March 2022, Wild Justice requested that the Secretary of State use their power under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to vary the close season for woodcock, as they believe this would be beneficial to the recovery of the native woodcock population. In response to the letter from Wild Justice, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust wrote to the Secretary of State on 4 April 2022, setting out their view that restrictions to the close season could be counterproductive and that more research is needed to understand the reasons for the decline of native woodcock and the effects of shooting on their populations.

Defra intends to review Schedule 2 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which lists species of birds which may be killed or taken outside a close season. In particular, consideration will be given to the evidence underpinning the listing of species such as woodcock so that we can ensure that recreational shooting is sustainable and does not undermine species recovery. This may include a review of the evidence for the timing and duration of the close season.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the number of woodcock shot annually in each of the last 10 years; and what discussions they have held, if any, with Natural England in relation to the effect of shooting woodcock on the status of woodcock.

Data for the number of woodcock shot in each of the last ten years has not been collated. However, there are publicly available game bag returns for the period 1961-2005 through the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust website (https://www.gwct.org.uk/research/long-term-monitoring/national-gamebag-census/bird-bags-summary-trends/woodcock/). Where shooting occurs on protected sites, some bag return reports may be requirements of consent by Natural England.

In response to a request from Defra, Natural England has submitted a briefing to Defra which considered woodcock ecology, population status and possible drivers of woodcock decline (including hunting).

Defra intends to review Schedule 2 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which lists species of birds which may be killed or taken outside a close season. In particular, consideration will be given to the evidence underpinning the listing of species such as woodcock so that we can ensure that recreational shooting is sustainable and does not undermine species recovery. This may include a review of the evidence for the timing and duration of the close season.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the current outbreak of avian flu on wild bird populations.

Defra is working with Devolved Administrations, Arm’s Length Bodies and NGOs to monitor and respond to the effect of avian influenza on wild birds. This includes providing advice on mitigation measures that can be put in place to both protect public health and the impact on wild birds where possible. However, avian influenza is a natural transmission process in wild birds and there is limited evidence that mitigation measures are effective at reducing transmission of avian influenza between wild birds. We will, however, continue to take whatever action we can, in accordance with international best practice and the latest evidence.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) operates a robust programme of wild bird surveillance across Great Britain and engages in year-round avian influenza surveillance of dead wild birds submitted via public reports and warden patrols. Between 25 October 2021 and 22 July 2022, over 3,000 wild birds have been tested. Of these, 1454 have tested positive for H5 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). There have been findings in 347 different locations in 61 different species in 79 different counties. A report (updated weekly) of findings of HPAI in wild birds is published by APHA on GOV.UK together with outbreak and risk assessments. A copy of the 18 July outbreak assessment is attached to this answer

Unprecedented outbreaks of avian influenza are being seen in both Great Britain and Europe as well as North America. In Great Britain there have been large numbers of deaths associated with positive findings of avian influenza in breeding populations of seabird species. Including those listed as GB Birds of Conservation Concern (BoCC5) (copy attached). The impact on Roseate Terns (red-listed BoCC5 species) and Sandwich Terns (amber-listed BoCC5 species) colonies in particular are of significant concern.

The UK’s seabirds are an important part of our natural heritage, and their protection is a high priority for the government. Defra recognises the significant threat HPAI is posing to our seabird populations Further to the existing Joint Nature Conservation Committee Seabird Monitoring Programme, Natural England has set up a seabird reporting system to collate records of mortality levels in key seabird colonies which will be used to support assessments of the impact on populations and inform recovery programmes. Equivalent systems have been established in Wales and Scotland enabling data to be readily compared across the administrations.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to support the international implementation of the Global Ocean Alliance 30by30 initiative.

Since 2019, the UK has been leading the Global Ocean Alliance (GOA) of countries championing ambitious ocean action under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including the ‘30by30’ target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030. The ocean has historically been underrepresented in the CBD, and the GOA plays an important role in raising the profile of ocean and marine issues.

In addition to leading the GOA, the UK also serves as Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature & People, alongside Costa Rica and France. The HAC champions 30by30 for both the land and the ocean. Between these two UK-led alliances, nearly 120 countries support 30by30 for the ocean, and over 100 countries support 30by30 for both the land and the ocean.

As we approach the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the CBD in December 2022, the UK will continue its proactive leadership role in both the GOA and HAC, working with Costa Rica, France, and members of both ambition groups, to call for the 30by30 target to be enshrined within the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The UK is committed to securing an ambitious outcome at COP15, including ambitious outcomes for the ocean, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss globally by 2030. It is also crucial that we continue working after COP15 to support the global implementation of the GBF, including the 30by30 target.

We are therefore delighted that the UK, Costa Rica, and France published a joint communique during the Stockholm+50 conference in June 2022, outlining plans for the HAC for Nature and People to evolve into a new phase to support the implementation of the 30by30 target following COP15, and we welcome the opportunity this provides for further collaboration with the GOA both ahead of and post-COP15.

In addition, the UK continues to provide support for marine protection internationally, including through the £500 million Blue Planet Fund. The Blue Planet Fund, financed from the UK overseas aid budget, will support developing countries to protect and sustainably manage their marine resources and address human-generated threats across four key themes: biodiversity, climate change, marine pollution, and sustainable seafood.

12th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to use Official Development Assistance funds to support countries to deliver an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity; and if so, how.

The UK has committed to spend at least £3bn of International Climate Finance between 2021/22 and 2025/26 on development solutions that protect and restore nature. As set out in the Government’s recently published International Development Strategy, the UK is also taking steps to ensure UK bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) overall becomes ‘nature positive’, aligning with the international goal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, and the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, once agreed.

Defra is implementing a range of ODA funded programmes, including some ICF funded activities, to support developing countries to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These include: the £100m Biodiverse Landscapes Fund, supporting improved management of six highly biodiverse landscapes worldwide; an expanded Darwin Initiative (£93.75m) funding conservation projects and building capacity in developing countries; work to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade which is a key driver of biodiversity loss (£30m); the UK’s Blue Planet Fund (£500m), supporting developing countries to protect and sustainably manage marine ecosystems; and a new Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate (up to £40m) to deliver R&D on policy solutions for climate challenges through action on biodiversity. In addition, we are scoping potential further work to support developing countries in meeting the draft Global Biodiversity Framework’s 30x30 target to protect and restore critical ecosystems.