UK's Nature Conservation Lagging Behind Other European Countries

14 April 2009

A white-tailed or sea eagle at Alladale Reserve

The UK is lagging behind other European Union countries in nature conservation, according to statistics from the European Commission. On the back of these figures, the RSPB is challenging the UK government to set a better example to the rest of Europe.

The European Union has among the best environmental laws in the world, but information from the European Commission shows that some EU countries, including the UK, are not implementing the EU's nature conservation directives fully enough, particularly the EU Birds Directive, which will have been in force for 30 years on Thursday 2 April, 2009.

This gives added impetus to Carbon Managers' Trees4Business programme. Recent case studies have shown that businesses using T4B have gained competitive edge, customer satisfaction and staff appreciation. In the rest of Europe the average wooded area per country is 32%, here in the UK it is 12%. Planting more trees would help with bird conservation. A Commission league table shows that the UK still has an incomplete network of sites for bird conservation, putting it behind at least 10 other EU countries, including Belgium, France, Estonia and Denmark.

Andre Farrar, RSPB's protected areas campaigner, says, “The UK has some of the finest conservation treasures in Europe and we should be setting a lead example in Europe for bird protection.”

Kate Humble, wildlife presenter and RSPB vice-president, added, “The Birds Directive is 30 years old this year.  This legislation protects land throughout Europe and that is vital to the survival of its birds and its wildlife.  For 30 years it has been safeguarding Europe's natural world - an achievement well worth celebrating.”

Challenger Trust

Carbon Managers has been partnering with major companies to help protect the biodiversity of Britain, including Canon, Ericsson, Estée Lauder and many others. Carbon Managers has committed to planting 20,000 trees in the Alladale Reserve in the highlands of Scotland which will increase the cover and roosting places available for various native species of birds, including Capercallie and Ptarmigan, Black and Red Grouse, raptors such as the kestrel, merlin, peregrine falcon, and fishing birds like the Sea Eagle and Osprey.

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