Groups in battle for eco-projects

Cuts in UK environmental projects are being combatted by Groundwork and the RSPB

Groundwork and the RSPB have joined forces to combat cuts in EU funding for UK environmental projects, including the re-landscaping of parks and open spaces. The projects aim to show how economic development can include environmental protection. DEFRA research shows that the UK has 239 ongoing EU-funded environmental projects, which have cost £304m to date. Funding is being renegotiated. The UK expects to get less as the EU awards less-developed countries more funds. Graham Duxbury, Groundwork head of policy, said UK parks and open spaces will be hit by the cuts: “It would be extreme to say that people will lose their jobs but things will definitely be cut back.” Duxbury said the Government will have to provide funding for regional environmental projects. But he added: “There is a danger that environmental investment is not seen as a priority by the Government and EU.” Rachel Lee, RSPB regional policy officer, hopes the collaboration will result in environmental best-practice becoming standard. Groundwork and the RSPB held an event for the industry in November called Facing the Future Without Structural Funds.

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