Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill
Lord Bach (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Labour)
My Lords, this amendment is our response to the debate on Report on an amendment which would have made rural communities a focus of Natural England's efforts to promote social and economic well-being through the management of the natural environment. We made it clear on Report that we could not accept sole reference to rural communities because Natural England has an important role in bringing the benefits of a healthy, well managed and accessible natural environment to urban communities as well. However, we agreed to look into it and, if we could find acceptable wording, bring back a government amendment at Third Reading. This is it and I am grateful to the noble Baroness for having raised this issue on previous occasions. The amendment makes it clear that Natural England may work with local communities—both urban and rural—to secure social and economic benefits through management of the natural environment. I beg to move.