I hear that staff morale under the new interim Natural England CEO, Marian Spain, is rising. That’s good to hear.
It might rise a little more if the report in Saturday’s The Times, that Tony Juniper might be NE’s new Chair, is true. It’s a difficult job but Tony might well be the person to do it.
This blog by the outgoing Chair of NE, Andrew Sells, is quite interesting even if totally unconvincing in its claims for NE’s successes in recent years. Yes, NE licensed Beaver releases but also Badger culls. Yes, NE used to have a half-decent scientific reputation but where is it now? It is more interesting in its views on the need for a strong, independent Office for Environmental Protection when/if we leave the EU – which might be as soon as 60 days’ time. I’m not sure that the environment is no longer a political footnote – after all, how has it figured in the years of argument over Brexit? – but I am sure that NE had very little to do with this and it was the somewhat fortuitous arrival of Michael Gove at Defra which has raised the status of the environment from complete invisibility to that of a deflated and punctured political football that nobody even bothers to kick around anymore. The fact that is seen as progress says it all really.