England's wildlife sites 'better protected now'
Huge improvements have been made in protecting England's best wildlife sites in the past decade, a powerful all-party group of MPs said yesterday – but still more needs to be done.
Only 52 per cent of the 4,000 English Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) – areas of land containing habitats and wildlife which are of national or international importance – were in "favourable or recovering" condition in 2002, but this had increased to 86 per cent by February this year, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reported.
However, the MPs said, greater effort must be made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Government's wildlife watchdog, Natural England, to manage and monitor the sites, which were first designated in 1949, and have helped conserve rare creatures and landscapes which would otherwise be in danger of extinction.
"All those who love England's wildlife and natural habitats will welcome the news that the reported condition of England's Sites of Special Scientific Interest has improved markedly against the Government's target," said the PAC chairman Edward Leigh. "But the news is not as good as it sounds. The Department and Natural England must do more to manage and monitor the progress of recovering sites."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Gonzalo aftermath to hit Britain next week
The last charge as western black rhino is declared extinct
Brazilian wandering spider: Where are they from and how deadly are they?
Cannibal harlequin ladybirds now threaten native species with STDs
A bug's life: know your ladybirds
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...