How Natural England lost its bite

Natural England continues to be badgered about a perceived lack of independence and accusations that it is no longer fulfilling its role as a champion for wildlife. James Fair reports


Natural England has been accused of being reduced to a ‘nodding dog in the government’s rear window’

In 2012, the future of a 21-hectare field in Derbyshire called Benty Grange came into the orbit of the government’s wildlife agency, Natural England. It was classed as a semi-natural grassland and was rich in orchids and other wildflowers. “There is very little of this type of habitat left,” says Alice Groom, senior policy officer for the RSPB. “It’s something we should be protecting.”

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