Nature Conservation

(asked on 14th July 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects of re-wilding in England on established fauna and flora.


Answered by
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
This question was answered on 28th July 2020

There are an increasing number of examples of re-wilding in England, but limited scientific assessments of their effects.

In 2017, Natural England published a review of large-scale conservation which looked at the effects of a number of re-wilding projects. The review found some indications of positive change in the quality of woodlands, but concluded that definitive assessment was hampered by a lack of data.

It is clear, nonetheless, that re-wilding approaches can deliver benefits. For example, at Knepp Castle in West Sussex, the creation of extensive grassland and scrub habitats, has boosted numbers of declining bird species like the nightingale or the turtle dove.

Re-wilding is unlikely to be appropriate in all circumstances, but natural processes, such as natural colonisation of land with trees for example, could play an important part in connecting and expanding habitats and woodlands, alongside planting.

The Government is therefore keen to understand the potential of re-wilding approaches to provide biodiversity and carbon benefits as we develop our tree strategy and our plans for the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
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