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

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We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

Are new management measures required in Lyme Bay to protect the sole fishery?  

You said

Yes, additional management is required.

We did

In brief, MMO will: 

  • Create a new vessel licence condition requiring enhanced visibility and identification of passive gear 

  • Publish a form for reporting lost and found gear that can be used without the need for names in order to improve data on the frequency of these events   

  • Set a reduced sole catch limit of 200kg for non-sector vessels fishing with scallop dredges in ICES area 7e   

  • Hold discussions with Producer Organisations about ways members can reduce sole bycatch when fishing with dredges  

  • Support additional research to understand the potential need, benefits and risks of changes to minimum landing sizes or gear configurations   

  • Facilitate a meeting for representative industry members to discuss the potential for separating areas of Lyme Bay for use by different fishing methods at different times of the year. It will be hosted by MMO in early 2024. 

We asked

Natural England consulted with owners, occupiers and interested parties on the notification of Penwith Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on 7 October 2022.

Consultations closed on 7 February 2023.

You said

Following consideration of representations and objections at its meeting on 28 June 2023, the Board of Natural England approved the confirmation of the notification of the West Penwith Moors and Downs SSSI with modifications to the description of the special interest, boundary map, Views about Management (VAM) and list of operations requiring Natural England’s consent (ORNEC). I therefore enclose revised versions of those documents.

We did

The site has 270 owners and occupiers. The notification was the subject of 170 unresolved objections and 6 objections that were resolved with modifications to the boundary. A further 87 representations were received in support of the notification. The grounds for the objections and representations had been carefully considered by officers of Natural England and after further investigation a number of modifications were recommended to the Board of Natural England of which were approved.

Natural England confirmed West Penwith Moors and Downs SSSI under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 on 4 July 2023 with the following changes:

•       the boundary, removed 41 areas of land (total area of 107.72 ha) which were not considered to be of special scientific interest;

•       the citation, to reflect the change in site name to ‘West Penwith Moors and Downs (Halow ha Gonyow Pennwydh West) SSSI’, removal of one lichen species, taxonomical changes, correction of typographical errors, a revised paragraph summarising the site history and updated area figure (3,045.04 ha);

•       the statement of Natural England’s views about management (VAM) of the SSSI, to reflect the change in site name; and clarify management recommendations; and

•       the list of operations requiring Natural England’s consent (ORNEC), to reflect the change in site name.

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:

If you have any questions or require further information, please email

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.