I recently published an article about Boris Johnson protecting 30% of UK Land by 2030.
In the article I pointed out that this includes the existing 26% of UK land already protected. This means when you scrape away the headline, Boris is saving an additional 4% UK land over the next 10 years.
While It can only be a good thing for a world leader to be championing the protection of wild areas, is increasing UK protected land by 4% over the next ten years really enough? Anyone with even the smallest interest in the environment will tell you it is not.
The existing protected areas are OK and it should be noted that we are making progress, but I wouldn’t describe the Surrey Hills for example as particularly “wild”. There are plenty of trees for sure, but we need more large animals and diverse environments, and less in the way of human interference. Equally, the South Downs National Park, while protected is mostly agricultural land. When you start looking around at the areas between that which we as humans use, actually there is very little wild land left. Even the wildest part of the UK, the highlands is overgrazed and over managed.
While “30 by 30” is a nice slogan, it is only that. I hope that this is only the first step Boris Johnson makes toward far grander plans, and that there is more ambitious projects to come.
Ed is a designer, business owner, environmental campaigner and Councillor representing Ash Wharf on Ash Parish Council