6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

Could Brexit be good for Dorset’s nature and environment?

PUBLISHED: 15:55 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:55 20 March 2017

Dr Simon Cripps at Brooklands Farm - Dorset Wildlife Trust's HQ

Dr Simon Cripps at Brooklands Farm - Dorset Wildlife Trust's HQ

Archant

Dr Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust, puts forward his viewpoint on the impact our exit of EU policies could have on our countryside

We live in interesting times or the world has gone mad, depending on your viewpoint. Three voting decisions would never have been predicted even last year: Brexit, Trump and Ed Balls on Strictly. Two of these are likely to have profound implications for Dorset’s environment and therefore for much of what we value in this fabulous part of the world. Our own vote for leaving the EU is both a worry and has the potential to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Brexit gives us the chance to reform EU farming subsidies so that they better support what our country and countryside needs, which is a healthy, productive natural environment rich in wildlife that supports a viable, sustainable farming industry and secure and appropriate food production. We have re-learnt in recent years what our grandfathers knew well, that you don’t get the latter without the former. New UK-based subsidies should then be focussed on producing a public benefit such as wildlife, soil health and water stewardship.

When Britain joined the EU we were the dirty country of Europe with smog, water pollution and filthy seas. In a national poll this year 83% of people wanted the same or greater protection for wildlife and the environment. This was largely irrespective of whether they voted to remain or leave. It is a clear message to government that you and I, especially in Dorset, want a clean, healthy environment to live and play in - whether that be the countryside, at sea, or in the conurbation. We need to ensure that regulations such as the Habitats, Birds and Bathing Water Directives to name just three are carried across to British equivalents and make them even more effective and relevant to the UK.

Protected areas are also important to people and nature. There are several types of designation that come from European regulations on land and at sea that we need to ensure are transferred over to whatever British system is devised.

Finally, something that is often overlooked is the question of who will be the ultimate arbitrator of environmental law and how do we ensure access to justice, as required by the Aarhus Convention. Currently if there is a problem, for example interpreting the duty of government, we can go to The European Court of Justice. We must ensure that such protection is not lost in the transfer.

Government is producing 25 year plans for the environment and for food and farming. We have an opportunity to determine what is important and to set up a framework for achieving it. Brexit, whilst a potential threat to our nature and environment can also present some benefits, but we must ensure that laws which protect us are not watered down or lost, special places that make Dorset what it is continue to be protected, the risk of climate change is diminished, and that tax-payer funding goes towards public benefit by making the land and seas more sustainably and sensitively managed – for people and nature.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily the policy of Dorset Wildlife Trust.

About Simon

Simon is an oceanographer by profession and has worked in environmental protection on many issues including commercial fishing, oil and gas, the UN and nature conservation. He has lived abroad in Sweden, Norway and Switzerland for over 20 years and returned to his native Dorset after being WWF-International’s Global Marine Director.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 15:39

Edward Griffiths takes a fascinating walk through the history of this seaside resort

Read more
Friday, September 22, 2017

We don’t think photos of Dorset can ever get old. Here are 10 of the best shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Helen Stiles seeks out the crème de la crème of deliciously stylish afternoon tea venues in the BH postcode

Read more
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Dorset this month

Read more
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

With Durdle Door, Brownsea Island, Jurassic Coast and a whole host of other stunning sights, Dorset is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Thursday, September 7, 2017

Situated on the banks of the Stour, this Blackmore Vale market town has successfully reinvented itself whilst maintaining a strong link to the past, writes Andy Greeves

Read more
Thursday, September 7, 2017

This September garden expert Toby Buckland is hosting a new Garden & Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey. He takes us for a turn around their famous gardens

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

Dorset is one of the UK’s best destinations for outdoor activities on land, sea or in the air. Visit Dorset reveals some of the more unusual ways of exploring the county

Read more
Thursday, August 31, 2017

From a cliff-top folly to the turbulent past of a castle and its village, Dorset Architectural Heritage Week is a great way to discover more about the county’s historic buildings, as Edward Griffiths discovers

Read more
Thursday, August 31, 2017

From a quirky secret garden to a plant lover’s paradise, these NGS venues offer some glorious late summer displays, and there are some garden masterclasses to inspire too

Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Helen Stiles experiences the multi-sensory delights of a tasting menu at Seasons at The Eastbury

Read more
Friday, August 25, 2017

From shacks on the beach to fancy dining, Sue Quinn shares her favourite Dorset places where you will find the freshest locally caught fish and shellfish in the country

Read more
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This challenging coastal walk rewards Edward Griffiths with exhilarating views over Worbarrow Bay. He also visits a ghost village whose residents were evacuated in 1943

Read more
Monday, August 21, 2017

Vanessa Barlow writes about the coastline she calls home in her blog My Jurassic Coast. She talks to fellow Jurassic Coast lovers

Read more
 
Pure Weddings advert link
 
South West Life advert link
 
A+ South & South West
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest


subscription ad
subscription ad

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad
Dorset Magazine Application Link

Local Business Directory

Dorset's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search