Greens attack Redwood policies

BRITAIN'S Green establishment yesterday appealed to the Prime Minister to stop John Redwood, the right-wing Welsh Secretary, dismembering wildlife and countryside conservation in the principality.

In an unprecedented move, the leaders of 22 top environment, heritage and scientific bodies, representing a combined membership of more than 4 million people, have written a joint letter to Mr Major warning him that his Cabinet colleague's policies threaten to cause breaches of the law.

This follows exclusive reports in the Independent on Sunday last month that cuts imposed by the Welsh Secretary were causing severe reductions in protection for wildlife and habitats, the abandonment of a Government programme to clear the principality's 20,000 miles of footpaths, and plans to turn over prime wildlife sites to local councils and get private bodies to take over the management of national nature reserves, including much of Mt Snowdon. Senior Whitehall officials have described Mr Redwood's policies as "declaring UDI".

The signatories of the letter include Sir Angus Stirling, director general of the National Trust and chairman of the Royal Opera House, Peter Melchett, the executive director of Greenpeace, Barbara Young, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Richard Morris, director of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr Franklyn Perring, president of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, and Colin Logan, chief executive of the Youth Hostels Association.

They attack both Mr Redwood's decision to slash the budget of his official watchdog, the Countryside Council for Wales - which has successfully opposed him over several major schemes - and the way in which he went about it, which they say is "undermining confidence and generating suspicion".

They say that Mr Redwood's decisions "jeopardise the UK's prospects of meeting its international commitments to environmental protection" and "could call into question the Government's commitment and ability to deliver its obligations under European and national legislation".

They add that the Welsh Office "did not seek the views of the public or of interested parties" during the production of Redwood's Environmental Agenda for Wales, which he launched earlier this month when rebuffing criticism of his policies.

l Mr Redwood will tomorrow be awarded a booby prize in the annual Green Ribbon political awards for Parliamentarians, as a result of his conservation policies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water