Consultation Hub

The site lists consultations that are run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. On this site you can find, share or take part in consultations. Public participation is very important to the development of our policies so please have your say.

Open Consultations

  • Lead and cadmium in ion selective electrodes

    The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (the RoHS Regulations) restricts the use of 10 hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) with a view to contributing to the protection of human health and... More

    Closes 14 December 2022

  • Plant Varieties and Seeds (PVS) Strategy

    The policy area of Plant Varieties and Seeds (PVS) covers Plant Variety Rights (intellectual property rights of plant breeders), plant variety registration, setting standards for marketing and certification of seed and other plant propagating material and ensuring that these standards are... More

    Closes 19 December 2022

  • Penwith Moors SSSI

    Penwith Moors is an extensive (c.3,000 ha) area of heathland, wetland and acid grassland in Cornwall. It is of special interest for the following nationally important features: Lowland heathland Fens Lowland dry acid grassland ... More

    Closes 7 February 2023

Closed Consultations

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

Natural England consulted with national and local stakeholders with an interest in the SSSI official statistics, on the proposed change to the measurement used in the reporting of SSSI condition in England from a unit or area based to a whole feature based monitoring approach, between 7 December 2020 and 18 January 2021.

 

You said

A total of 53 responses were received. 17 respondents were in favour of the proposed change, 5 respondents were not in favour of the proposed change, 9 respondents were neutral. 14 respondents were in favour of the change to feature based monitoring but not in favour of the Least Favourable Condition option. 3 respondents were in favour of the Least Favourable approach option but not in favour of the change of the change to feature based monitoring. 5 respondents did not express a preference.  Of the 53 formal consultation submissions, 41 respondents stated that the proposed change would have implications for their use of the statistics, 10 respondents did not think the proposed change would have an impact on their use of the statistics, and 2 respondents submitted blank forms. Of the written consultation responses, the primary concern was whether the new approach would remove the ability for landowners to report the condition of their landholding and understand the necessary management measures needed to bring about condition change.

We did

Natural England reviewed the consultation responses and as a result have devised a mechanism to continue to report condition at both unit and feature scale. Natural England organised further discussions with stakeholders in 2021 and following pilots of the new approach in 2022. The discussions provided further opportunities for stakeholders to discuss these original concerns in order to agree solutions, develop ways of working in partnership and ensure smooth transition to feature based monitoring. Some of the key take home points were that once stakeholders understood the process of how whole feature assessment and reporting will work, they were content with how we propose to maintain the link with units and management advice. Maintaining the ability to report at unit level (until at least 2025) will enable stakeholders to report outcomes in relation to Management Plans.

Natural England also clarified how the  least favourable approach is only used to set the current feature condition baseline using unit condition data already in the system. The condition of units and features going forward will be determined using data captured in the field, available from others or from remote sensing.

We asked

The consultation focused on opinions on the sale of peat for horticultural use and whether this should continue or be restricted. We also asked whether there should be any exemptions and what these might be.

You said

The response was clear with over 95% of responses calling for a ban on the sale of peat. There was some valid concern in the responses for the use of peat in industry.

We did

The government in England is committed to banning the sale of peat and peat containing products by 2024.

We asked

Natural England consulted with owners, occupiers and interested parties on the notification of Dearne Valley Wetlands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on 13 May 2021.

Consultations closed on 13 September 2021.

You said

Following consideration of representations and objections at its meeting on 19 January 2022, the Board of Natural England approved the confirmation of the notification of the Dearne Valley Wetlands SSSI with modifications to the description of the special interest (area figure amendment) and boundary map. Natural England consulted with owners, occupiers and interested parties on the notification of Dearne Valley Wetlands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on 13 May 2021.

Consultations closed on 13 September 2021.

We did

Natural England confirmed Dearne Valley Wetlands SSSI under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 on 4 February 2022.

In accordance with Natural England’s policy on freedom of information, details of the Board’s decision will be available on Natural England’s website in due course: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england/about/our-governance.

If you have any questions or require further information, please email ProtectedSites@naturalengland.org.uk.