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Environment Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:56 pm on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives 8:56 pm, 28th October 2019

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am not sure what your plans are in the next few weeks—you may be busy—but I want to invite you to west Cornwall, where you will find areas of outstanding natural beauty, sites of special scientific interest, nature reserves, special protection areas and marine conservation zones by the dozen. They are on the increase, not because of European legislation but because of the work of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Natural England and other fantastic organisations. There is an appetite to protect further our beautiful part of the world.

I welcome the Environment Bill, especially the nature recovery strategies. Many good things have been said this evening, which I will not repeat, but I want to raise a few issues that are particular to my constituency, such as the Cornish chough. In 2016, a review of special protected areas found that they are inadequate for the Cornish chough and choughs across the UK. I would love the Secretary of State to look at that, to ensure that the Cornish chough, which is already in good recovery, has ample opportunity to recover further. It requires grazing land, so we need to be careful, as we progress with decarbonisation, that we do not get rid of cattle altogether.

I am the species champion for the Manx shearwater, a ground-nesting bird that has recovered remarkably on Scilly because we have been able to cull rats and get rid of plastic and other litter. I would welcome the Secretary of State looking at how we can fund such recovery programmes, because the Manx shearwater provides an excellent example of communities working together with the proper funds––