Ministers will seek to obfuscate as usual with platitudes but there is now a raft of leaks coming out of central government.

My motion that goes before Devon County Council’s full meeting on 27 April is more timely than I thought.

In Devon we have 122 EU protected sites across 115,000 hectares, including Dartmoor and Aylesbeare and Woodbury Commons.

See BBC interview with MEP Molly Scott Cato here – https://twitter.com/MollyMEP/status/853864044448624640

See my motion, developed with Devon Wildlife Trust, here –

“Devon is home to many scarce and threatened habitats such our ancient woodlands, rivers and wetlands, upland blanket bogs, lowland heaths, Culm grasslands and our stunning coast
and marine environments.

These support a myriad of species with internationally important populations of marsh fritillary butterflies, greater horseshoe bats, otters, overwintering waders and marine creatures including whales, dolphins and basking shark.

European Union Habitats Regulations protection of land and seascapes such as the pebblebed heaths in East Devon, large swathes of Dartmoor and Exmoor, the Exe and Tamar Estuaries and Lundy Island have meant that wildlife has flourished over the years and has ensured that these places remain crucial international strongholds.

The latest State of Nature report published last October found that the UK has experienced huge losses of habitat and wildlife, and 15 per cent of those studied are threatened with extinction.

Leaving the European Union puts at risk all of these protections – and the Government has not yet promised to retain the same level of protections that currently exist under EU legislation.

This Council recognises the huge importance of these rich landscapes for people and wildlife in Devon – and calls upon the Secretary of State for the Environment to support the Environmental Audit Committee, as well as the coalition of wildlife and nature organisations, asking for retention of at least the same level of protection for our wildlife and environment, as takes place currently under EU law’.”