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Natural England to spend further £72m

PUBLISHED: 11:24 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:25 28 March 2014

MAY 15, 2008: Natural England has
announced that an additional £72m will be spent on the natural
environment this year.






Further to an additional £68m for green farming schemes, Natural


England has announced that it will allocate an extra £4m this year


towards protecting and enhancing the marine environment, improving


biodiversity and researching renewable energy options in the Severn


Barrage.







Despite the uncertainty in funding for the next two years, Natural


England has also taken a decision to give funding certainty over a


three-year period to our key partners.







Dr Helen Phillips, Chief


Executive of Natural England, said: “Much-needed protection for the


marine environment and researching ways of tackling climate change are


top of Natural England’s priorities in the coming year.

"We have matched


our funds against the most pressing environmental priorities -


protecting threatened landscapes and wildlife, and pushing forward our


work on climate change. This is a positive result for the natural


environment.”







Activity spend for our protected landscapes and habitats including


Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Nature Reserves


(NNR) will be maintained at 07/08 funding levels, to a total of £17m.







In order to continue the good rate of progress in improving Sites of


Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) announced earlier this month,


Natural England has maximised the use of the Wildlife Enhancement


Scheme (WES) with a budget of £9.5m, using more Higher Level Scheme


(HLS) funding to support SSSI delivery.







There will be efficiency savings of £16.5m to Natural England’s


budget over the next three years, including £1.1m through the recent


termination of the Discovering Lost Ways project.







The £4 million yielded though reallocation of resource will be divided as follows:

  • £2m for biodiversity
  • £1m for marine work
  • £0.5m for the European Landscape Convention
  • £0.3m for evidence-gathering on the proposed Severn Barrage
  • £0.3m for training to invest in our people’s delivery






Last December, the Natural England Board agreed a reduction of 150


staff through voluntary redundancy. This will achieve a £4m saving in


08/09 with higher savings in future years, which have been re-invested


in delivery for the natural environment.







The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) settlement allows


Natural England to increase funding for delivery of Schemes under the


Programme, from £317m in 2007/08 to £385m in 2008/09.







Speaking about the RDPE settlement Dr Phillips continued: “Green


farming has a major role to play in restoration of wildlife habitat and


biodiversity, flood and carbon management in England and sustainable


food production – it is vital that we continue to build on


environmental success coming from this area of work.”














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