Prime minister Boris Johnson is reported to be considering sacking several high-profile female cabinet ministers, including the environment secretary. Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images Prime minister Boris Johnson is reported to be considering sacking several high-profile female cabinet ministers, including the environment secretary. Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images

10 key things that happened this week

10 of the biggest stories from the past week: Villiers set to be reshuffle casualty, say reports; Agriculture Bill revisions bring new focus on soil health; AONB dual carriageway gets go-ahead against Natural England advice.

1 Villiers set to be reshuffle casualty, say reports

Environment minister Theresa Villiers could lose her job in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle, according to media reports.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is thought to be considering sacking several high-profile female cabinet ministers, including Villiers, business secretary Andrea Leadsom and possibly trade secretary Liz Truss. MORE

2 Agriculture Bill revisions bring new focus on soil health

Ministers have tweaked the text of the Agriculture Bill to emphasise safeguarding and improving soil quality, but the latest version of the flagship legislation does not include any binding commitment to uphold food standards after Brexit. MORE

3 AONB dual carriageway gets go-ahead against Natural England advice

A new single and dual carriageway running through 1.6km of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was granted planning permission this month against the advice of Natural England and its conservation board. MORE

4 Severely damaged’: Natural England rarely prosecutes green breaches, official figures reveal

England’s nature regulator has never brought a successful prosecution under environmental damage, species licensing or heather and grass burning rules and has only once prosecuted under the environmental impact assessment regulations, official data reveals. MORE

5 ‘World’s first’ net-zero neighbourhood to be built

The first housing scheme to meet the UK Green Building Council’s definition of net-zero carbon has secured planning permission. MORE

6 Environment minister Zac Goldsmith takes up House of Lords seat

The former Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has become a peer in the House of Lords and will continue his ministerial work at DEFRA and the Department for International Development. MORE

7 Housing secretary threatens to strip climate council of its local plan powers

A district council trying to scrap its local plan on climate emergency grounds may see its decision-making powers transferred to the county council, the housing secretary has warned. MORE

8 HS2’s nature mitigations ‘inadequate, amateurish and in the wrong places’

The ‘ecologically devastating’ impacts of High Speed 2 on protected sites and the ‘inadequate’ mitigation and compensation measures put forward would push ‘nature to the brink’ and cause local extinctions, according to a new report from The Wildlife Trusts. MORE

9 DEFRA bolsters protections for seabirds across 100,000 hectares of coastal waters

Environment minister Rebecca Pow this week announced the creation of a new EU-protected area for seabirds along a vast stretch of the south coast of England and has extended another in the north east. MORE

10 Government advisers slam progress on environmental improvement

The state of England’s environment is getting worse rather than improving, and legislative plans are too weak to make a substantial difference, according to advisory body the Natural Capital Committee. MORE

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