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25 Year Environment Plan: Government Publishes First Progress Report

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

On 16 May 2019, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its first progress report on its 25 year environment plan.

The progress report covers the period from January 2018 (when the 25 year plan was published) to March 2019. The 25 Year Environment Plan is the government’s “roadmap for action, centred on the pledge that ours will be the first generation to pass the natural world on in a better state to our children”.  The government promises a new system of protection which will reward individuals, communities and businesses for making the right choices about the environment, and penalise those that continue to pollute.

Also on 16 May 2019, Defra published an indicators framework setting out the indicators and metrics used to measure progress in achieving the plan. Defra had consulted on the framework in December 2018.

The progress report indicates that the government has delivered four of the 40 priority actions expected to make the most significant contribution to the goals of the plan, 32 are on track for timely delivery and the remaining four are slightly delayed because of redirection of resources due to Brexit preparations. In particular, Defra considers that it has made significant progress on:

  • Environmental governance, with publication of the draft clauses for the Environment Bill.
  • Biodiversity net gain, with the December 2018 consultation.
  • Public money for public goods, with the introduction of the Agriculture Bill 2017-19.

Key priorities for the coming year include supporting wildlife and nature; improving environmental quality; and strengthening environmental governance.

Whilst applicable to all, for those operating within the agriculture sector and owning rural land the government plans and how they will be implemented have significant implications for how those businesses are run and how landowners manage their landholdings.

Wilson Browne act for many such clients and so the impact of the government plans will be relevant in future in relation to property and business dealings.

If you need any advice contact our Specialist Team

Ika Částka


Ika Částka

Senior Partner

Ika is Head of the Commercial Property team and has been advising individuals and businesses across Northamptonshire since 1986, specialising in commercial, agricultural and rural property matters for both businesses and individuals.