Consultation & inquiry responses

We regularly respond to government consultations and parliamentary inquiries on a range of environmental and scientific topics, individually or in partnership with other organisations. We focus on synthesising and communicating the relevant ecological evidence, and representing the views of the ecological community.

Submitting high-quality responses relies on the expertise of our members. If you would like to contribute to consultations and inquiries, please register on our Interests and Expertise Database, or contact Brendan Costelloe, Policy Manager.

2016

Forestry in England

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Inquiry

October 2016

(347 KB pdf)

Our response was developed in collaboration with our Forest Ecology Special Interest Group and highlighted the important role of our forests in delivering a wide range of benefits to people, the need to balance economic exploitation with conservation, and key research gaps and future priorities.

Download Forestry in England pdf

The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum

Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

September 2016

(483 KB pdf)

Our response highlighted the risks and opportunities of leaving the EU, including the potential to introduce a more effective agri-environment support system focusing on delivery of ecosystem services in a strategic manner.

Download The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum pdf

Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry

August 2016

(469 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response, which highlighted the impact that the vote to leave the EU is already having on UK science, and the importance of continued international collaboration, including free movement for researchers and students and the need to secure continued association with Horizon 2020 and its successor programmes.

Download Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research pdf

The Teaching Excellence Framework: technical consultation for year 2

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Consultation

July 2016

(461 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response, which highlighted major concerns with the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework, including an over-reliance on unsuitable metrics, a rushed timetable for implementation and a significant level of administrative burden.

Download The Teaching Excellence Framework: technical consultation for year 2 pdf

Science Communication

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry

March 2016

(417 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s submission to this inquiry, highlighting examples of our work and that of members, and raising specific points around the need for public engagement to be embedded within research evaluation, the need for a diversity of scientists to be represented in the media, and the importance of broad access to school-level enrichment activities.

Download Science Communication pdf

Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Consultation

March 2016

(234 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response to the call for evidence.

Download Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework pdf

Scottish Pollinator Strategy

Scottish Natural Heritage Consultation

March 2016

(224 KB pdf)

Our Scottish Policy Group submitted a response highlighting where the latest scientific evidence could be added to the proposed strategy, emphasising the need for clearer objectives and better monitoring to ensure success.

We also supported Scottish Environment Link’s response.

Download Scottish Pollinator Strategy pdf

Soil Health

Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

January 2016

(499 KB pdf)

Our evidence highlighted the vital ecosystem services that soil provides and the need to treat soil as a living organism.

We emphasised the need for a national soil monitoring programme, and suggested that soil be given due prominence in Defra’s 25 year plans for the environment and farming.

Our members Richard Bardgett (Editor, Journal of Ecology), Franciska de Vries (Secretary, Plants, Soils, Ecosystems SIG), Mark Hodson and Stuart Norris also submitted evidence individually. Richard Bardgett was also called to give oral evidence to the committee.

The EAC published its report in June 2016, making extensive use of our evidence.

Download Soil Health pdf

Higher Education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation

January 2016

(609 KB pdf)

We contributed to the Royal Society of Biology’s response to this consultation, covering the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and reforms to the architecture of higher education in England.

We expressed our support for the principles behind the TEF, but raised concerns at the measures proposed would not achieve its stated aims.

Download Higher Education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice pdf

2015

Genetically Modified Insects

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry

October 2015

(352 KB pdf)

Our evidence highlighted the potential ecological impacts of the release of GM insects, particularly using gene drive methodologies. Our President, Sue Hartley, was invited to give oral evidence on our behalf, and we were cited in the Committee’s final report.

Find our more about our work on Genetically Modified Organisms.

Download Genetically Modified Insects pdf