Minister: 'Biodiversity offsetting better in the long run'

The Environment Secretary said he would prefer "biodiversity offsetting" to be compulsory. Owen Paterson added that he wanted to create a market in which land would be identified by wildlife groups for improvement and developers would pay for the work.

In the longer term, the more you can move towards a mandatory [system] the more you get a market. You do want people to come forward with offsettable sites, that’s the key thing.

I think it was 10,000 mature trees [lost in the construction of the M6 toll road around Birmingham] and they planted a million young ones.

Now people will say that’s no good for our generation but over the long term That is a practical example of a high amount of planting following a tragic loss of some wonderful trees.

The point about offsetting is it will deliver a better environment over the long term.

– Environment Secretary Owen Paterson

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Minister: 'Permission to destroy ancient woodland'

Permission to destroy ancient woodland could be granted to developers who agree to plant 100 trees for each one felled, the Environment Secretary has said.