A promise from Boris – piffle-Pfeffel?


When you are told something by a habitual liar then you have to take it with a mountain of salt. About this amount…

Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

But don’t worry about this one because it adds up to nothing anyway. Our Prime Minister is promising to increase protected areas for nature from an alleged 26% to a hypothetical 30% in the next 10 years.

The current 26% includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – areas which have no nature conservation clout whatsoever as they are mostly landscape designations. UK upland National Parks, such as the Cairngorms, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District are places where wildlife crime against ‘protected’ raptors goes largely unpunished and mostly uncombatted by the UK authorities and unsustinable land uses such as burning on peat soils get so many last chances from DEFRA that even the land owners are giggling about it. By these measures, one could ‘promise’ to make the whole of the UK a protected area and nothing would change for the better.

The ‘announcement‘ is characteristically low on detail. Where exactly does the 26% figure come from, and how exactly will it be increased to 30%? Will it be by extending a few AONBs or by some more meaningful mechanism? Are SPAs and SACs included in the 26%? would the Prime Minister like to commit to their ongoing protection, and even better protection (hopefully, much better protection) after Brexit whether there is a deal or no deal?

And what sanctions would the PM be willing to experience himself if these promises are not met? And does he plan still to be in the country in 2030? 10 years – that’s a long time. Since this government has promised to deliver things within weeks or months that it has failed to deliver, there is little confidence to be had in their decadal promises.

It’s all what I have come to think of as Piffle-Pfeffel.

NGOs welcomed it politely but without much enthusiasm or faith;

COULD BE ‘huge step towards addressing the crisis our wildlife is facing’

Martin Harper, RSPB https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54320030

‘good start but…’

Craig bennett, Wildlife Trusts https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54320030

13 Replies to “A promise from Boris – piffle-Pfeffel?”

  1. Clearly Boris plans to have all grouse moors and their owners designated as officially protected – from prosecution that is.

  2. Natura 2000 designation is (or maybe I should say was) a better barometer of the area of land protected for nature. If I remember correctly the figure for the UK was 9% of our land area. This was 1% better than Denmark which was at the bottom of the EU league table.

  3. As you say Mark total Piffel. In this day and age it would be very unwise to believe anything the current politicians say. In addition the statement is virtually meaningless and is most unlikely to have any effect on making things better for nature and our wildlife.

  4. The Prime Minister says ‘we cannot afford to dither or delay’ action to halt biodiversity loss and then gives himself ten years to do something that will be of little help towards achieving that goal. Meanwhile he decries the weak protections we already have for wildlife as a barrier to his “build build build” plans that he would like to see pushed out of the way. I fear this statement amounts to little more than hot air.

  5. The interview with CEO of the wildlife trusts was interesting on R4 Today this morningon thei subject, and th emedia is as usual full of poor reporting…. the 26% is protected land in ENGLAND, much of which is a landscape rather than a wildlife designation. They thought the wildlife-protecetd area in UK (which is as we all know, mor ethanjust England) is probably 10%, and half in bad condition. SO I, and of course its massivelyhypothetical if, wegot to 30% in the whole uK that would be impressive. But of course, our designations, eg National park, etc, fall well short of the IUCN categories of protected for wildlife which is assigned across Europe and the rest of the world, and most of it barely scrapes into the lowest IUCN category of protected land (categories IV and V in this linkhttps://www.iucn.org/theme/protected-areas/about/protected-area-categories)…….the WT were being interviewed becaus ethey have aso just launched a 30% protecetd campaign https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/30-30-30

    Also, is the designation of protected land a devolved issue?

  6. Protected until we need the land for a new railway or road, or golf course? Someone also needs to remind Boris how far behind he is on sorting out marine conservation zones and how allowing mega trawlers to fish in the ones we do have perhaps isn’t in the spirit of marine conservation. I’m sure he’s busy planting all the trees to catch up on the missed planting targets though.

  7. If he said the earth was round, I think I’d join the Flat Earth Society! He must be the King of False News! I wonder if there are any plans for Newts in this spiel?

  8. Yet more meaningless drivel from an arch deceiver. I often wonder if he believes his own spin. Let’s hope the main conservation organisations are not lulled back into a state of naive optimism.

  9. Liar, liar peats on fire!

    My thoughts were the same as your when I read the detail of Boris’s promises.

    In my opinion the responses from RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts are weak and do not challenge the Govt at all. A missed opportunity

  10. How many SSSi’s, Ancient woods and free standing very old oaks and hedgerows has he wrecked by allowing HS2 to go ahead? When it comes to piffel-pfeffell he is an amatuer compared to the free-loaders who are running that. 20 areas of woodland are due for removal this autumn, officially starting on October 1st. For more information please go to the face book page Save Cubbington Woods – Stop HS2

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