Agency Merger Bad For Wildlife

Forest

Butterfly Conservation is warning that a potential merger between two countryside agencies could pose a serious risk to butterflies, moths and other wildlife.

Last year the Government launched a review into Natural England - the body responsible for protecting the country's landscapes, plants and animals and enforcing wildlife law.

The review also covered the Environment Agency - the body responsible for flood defence and pollution.

A possible merger between the two agencies has been strongly opposed by wildlife and environmental organisations including Butterfly Conservation, the RSPB and Greenpeace, as they believe there is a real danger of wildlife protection being diluted and weakened.

Butterfly Conservation believes that at time when butterflies, moths and other wildlife are facing unprecedented habitat and climatic challenges, the lack of a dedicated wildlife agency such as Natural England could prove catastrophic for our countryside.

Dr Martin Warren, Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation explained: "With the rapid decline of butterflies and other wildlife, there has never been a greater need for a robust and independent champion of nature in government. 

"Now is the time for a stronger agency dedicated to conservation and not run the risk of its dilution."

Read Dr Warren's blog on why the merger of Natural England and the Environment Agency would be a wildlife disaster.

A letter outlining wildlife organisations' opposition to any potential merger is published in today's Times newspaper.