Future of the natural environment after the EU referendum

Contribute to our response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s new inquiry.

British Ecological Society image of poppies

The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of the natural environment in the light of the EU referendum. Issues include the future of funding for biodiversity and agri-environment schemes, the likely changes in the devolved administration, and the role that managed rewilding can play in conservation and restoration.

The Committee has invited submissions on some or all of the questions below:

  • What are the implications for UK biodiversity of leaving the EU, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy? To what extent do initiatives to support biodiversity in the UK depend on CAP-related payments? What risks and opportunities could developing our own agri-environment policy and funding present?
  • How should future support for UK agriculture be structured in order to ensure there are incentives for environmentally-friendly land management? What are the positives/negatives of current schemes (e.g. Countryside Stewardship) that should be retained/avoided?
  • How should future UK agri-environment support be administered, and what outcomes should it focus on?
  • What are the prospects and challenges for future environmental stewardship schemes in the devolved administrations? How much divergence in policy between the nations of the United Kingdom is likely? How can divergence be managed?
  • What are the future risks and opportunities to innovative land practices, such as managed rewilding? What role can rewilding play in conservation and restoration of habitats and wildlife? What evidence is there to support the incentivising of such schemes in any new land management policies?

If you would like to contribute to our response, please contact Camilla Morrison-Bell by 5 August with any responses to the questions identified, suggested relevant papers or reports or any additional information. There will be additional opportunities to comment on draft responses.

The Committee is also recruiting a Specialist Advisor for this inquiry with knowledge of EU funding streams for agroecology, biodiversity and environmentally-friendly land use. Expressions of interest are invited by 7 September. Find out more.