Britain can go greener after Brexit

FRIENDS of the Earth is one of 13 environmental groups with a combined membership of eight million which has launched A Greener UK campaign to keep Britain among the greenest countries in the world.

Other bodies include the National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, CPRE and RSPB.

A poll showed that 80 per cent of respondents backed the same or stronger environment protection after Brexit as currently provided under EU law.

As more and more green space is allocated for development our land, water, clean air and wildlife is coming under increasing stress.

MPs are being asked to pledge their support and so far 145 have done so.

Specifically, they are being asked to:

  • Establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by matching or exceeding current environmental wildlife and habitat protection.
  • Ensure the UK leads on climate action.
  • Create a richer countryside by supporting landowners and farmers to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector.

The 2016 State of Nature report shows that 15 per cent of species native to the UK are extinct while 50 per cent were in decline, indicating that nature is faring worse in Britain than in most countries.

The main reasons are intensive agriculture, pollution, spreading urbanisation and climate change.

The pressure on south Hampshire from business for more development makes the whole area particularly vulnerable with the added challenge of flooding from rising sea levels and a wetter climate whose effects are made worse by building on flood plains.

Havant Borough Council, for example, plans to build more than 11,000 new homes but hasn’t got sufficient sites for them without threatening hitherto protected land to destructive development.

EU environment directives have, on balance, supported nature conservation and protection in the UK.

The hope must be that after Brexit we will seize the opportunity to build on them to become even greener for the sake of future generations.

Hampshire in the top 10 for Renewable Enegy

green-alliance

Green Alliance has placed Hampshire among the top 10 English counties for producing renewable energy which is mostly solar as wind turbines were discouraged by Hampshire County Council some years ago.

Read the Green Alliance renewables league table

Dibden Bay

Older members will remember this as one of the most famous wins against a major company in Hampshire. In 2004 Associated British Ports (ABP) lost a planning appeal against a refusal to use 500 acres of the New Forest around Dibden Bay near Southampton to expand the docks. It followed an intensive campaign from a coalition of groups, including Friends of the Earth.

Associated British Ports spent almost £4m on the case and the opposition raised £100k from voluntary donations. Now the company looks set to return with a new application and the support of Philip Hammond MP, the new Chancellor. More info on the BBC News website

Markwells Wood

deep-forest

This is an area of rural woodland which is part of the South Downs National Park (SDNP) situated between East Marden and Rowlands Castle. Some years ago, Northern Petroleum operated an exploratory oil rig. It was decided to close the rig and make good the site.

It has since been acquired by UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) who lodged a planning application to reopen and expand the site over the next 20 years. Friends of the Earth has stepped in and helped to set up a campaign group called Markwells Wood Watch which oppose the application for a number of sound reasons familiar to Friends of the Earth activists and environmentalist everywhere.

Portsmouth Water is very concerned over the security of their aquifers and the potential exposure of accidental spillages of waste water laced with potentially toxic chemicals. The world already has more fossil fuels in the ground than we can safely burn so leave it in the ground.

For the latest news on Markwells wood watch Click Here. Havant Friends of the Earth has made representations to South Downs National Park Planning Authority.