Looking after our environment is one of the most important issues of this generation. The Wealden countryside is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and I want to make sure that we pass on a healthy and clean environment to our children.
🌲 Ashdown Forest 🌲
The Ashdown Forest is the jewel of Wealden countryside and it is my privilege to represent it in Parliament. Looking after the Forest and ensuring we maintain a healthy, clean and vibrant heathland is of critical importance. I work closely with the Ashdown Forest Conservators, the Ashdown Forest Rangers and the CEO of the Ashdown Forest on ways how to best look after this treasured piece of our countryside and helping it thrive.
The Ashdown Forest Conservators consists of a small team of staff, including four rangers who cover each of the chases. In addition to the staff, 150 volunteers give up their time to keep the Forest ticking along, from helping in the shop to litter picking across the heathland.
One of the major issues facing the Forest is out of control dogs, largely from visitors who don’t abide by the rules aimed at protecting the Forest’s environment. Recent surveys suggest that 90 percent of the 4,500 daily visitors are dog walkers.
🌳 New Environment Plan 🌳
The Environment Secretary set out ambitious plans to treble tree-planting rates in England, restore at least 35,000 hectares of degraded peatlands and set a new world-leading target on species abundance for 2030, aimed at halting the decline of species. We are putting our wildlife and natural environment at the heart of our green recovery, boosting biodiversity and creating thousands of new jobs as we accelerate towards net zero by 2050 and build back better and greener.
🎣Completion of Eridge Stream habitat project🎣
I secured a £20,000 grant from the Environment Agency to improve fish spewing opportunities in the Eridge Stream. A combination of land use issues, in-channel structures and bank erosion were obstructing access restricting fish communities from reaching their full potential. Tonnes of High Weald ironstone gravel as well as wood were introduced to the stream to form new spawning sites for trout and other fish and change the stream to a more favourable habitat of fast-flowing ripples. The success of the project is already showing as new colonies of fish have been spotted in the improved section of the stream. The habitat improvement project on Eridge Stream and the growth of its fish population will be of great benefit not only to the members of the angling clubs, but also to the local environment as a whole.