Conservationists and anyone, like me, who is passionate about the environment and wildlife, will have found much of the press coverage of last week, difficult reading.   The felling of the iconic Sycamore Gap Tree by an apparent act of vandalism, against the backdrop of the publication of the fourth State of Nature Report laid bare the stark fact that nature is still seriously declining in the UK; it is clear that the nature crisis affects us all with ½ of the UK’s bird species under threat.

The announcement of the Government’s delay to the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain felt like a further hammer blow to the Nation’s battle in combatting climate change.  However, the announcement on 27th September that BNG will merely be postponed to January 2024 gives a cause for optimism.  We are told that by the end of November, the long awaited guidance and regulations will be published to include, amongst other things, a draft biodiversity gain plan template and the statutory biodiversity metric, which will be critical for calculating the correct biodiversity gain.  We will await the details with interest and hope that they will facilitate much needed planning and focus on this important part of the fight to combat the climate crisis.