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.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

On 2 November 2017 Natural England notified additional land as part of the Crouch and Roach Estuaries Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), recognising the land’s importance for overwintering waterbirds and other interest features of the SSSI. It is proposed that the boundaries of the Crouch and Roach Estuaries (Mid Essex Coast Phase 3) Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site are also extended to include the same areas of land. Natural England is therefore running two consultations concurrently: 1) Seeking views on the extension of the SSSI - to inform our decision on whether to confirm or withdraw this notification. 2) Seeking views on the proposed extension of the SPA and Ramsar site – to form the basis of a report to the Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

You Said

Two letters of support were received from the Crouch and Roach Estuaries consultations, no objections were received to the notification.

We Did

Natural England confirmed extensions to Crouch and Roach Estuaries SSSI and classified Crouch and Roach Estuaries SPA and Ramsar site on 11 July 2018.

We Asked

Natural England consulted on a proposal to charge for Wildlife Licences on Defra’s behalf between December 2017 and February 2018. We asked your views on the proposal to introduce charges, the proposed price structure and the charge exemptions.

You Said

You gave us a diverse range of views. There was support for the proposal to charge for mitigation licences provided this results in improved service delivery and for the proposed exemptions from charging. There were a number of challenges to the proposal related to the principle and cost of survey licences. Other respondents questioned the principle of charging, the charge rate, the cost of certain licences and the impact on wildlife from unlicensed activity.

We Did

We have published a consultation response where we have outlined how we propose to address your concerns. These include: a commitment to improving the service performance for mitigation licences, alongside the implementation of charges; reducing proposed charges in some areas (particularly survey licences) to reflect projected efficiency savings; and additional charge exemptions for falconry licences. We will continue to consult with applicant groups on the proposal. We will be seeking parliamentary approval this summer for the charging scheme, to be introduced as a Statutory Instrument under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

We Asked

We asked your views on proposed changes for assessing wildfowling consents on protected sites. These included proposals:

 

  • to increase opportunities for wildfowling clubs to contribute to the assessment process;
  • the possibility of offering longer term agreements with review mechanisms;
  • to more closely align assessments with the bird numbers on site;
  • ways in which more of the positive management undertaken by wildfowling clubs could be included in agreements. 

You Said

A total of 613 responses were received to the consultation; 78 of these were from representatives of organisations and the rest were from individuals. 92% of respondents were wildfowlers.

Respondents strongly supported some proposals, such as annual liaison meetings and wildfowling visits. Some proposals, such as the use of site management plans, provoked a mixed response. Other proposals, such as the proposal to link longer term plans to bird abundance figures, had less support. Some concerns were raised around lack of trust between Natural England and wildfowling clubs.

 

We Did

 

We recognise that a wide range of views have been put forward and we wish to reassure all consultees that no pre-emptive action will be taken until we have fully explored these issues with stakeholders. We have noted the concerns raised and will reflect on which proposals were supported, and which were not. To take this discussion forward, we will invite key representatives to a workshop to better understand the range of views and to build relationships and consensus between representatives.  We need to start by building understanding of the opportunities for reform that exist in this area and to progress only on the basis of clear understanding and mutual trust.