The Government has announced a lofty ambition. Ours is to be “the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it”. Quite a thought when we’ve just voted for Brexit and will lose £3 billion a year in European Environmental subsidies to farmers! Environment Secretary Angela Leadsom’s speech to the Oxford Farming Conference was strong on platitudes but weak on reassurances. Farming has been around “as long as mankind itself” has it?! That’s about as convincing as her other claim – that the Hunting Act “has not proven to be in the interests of animal welfare”!
All that’s known is that funding will continue until 2020, but what happens thereafter is unspecified. The Commons Environment Committee wants the UK to have “a new Environmental Protection Act , ensuring that the UK has an equivalent or better level of environmental protection as in the EU” but what are the chances, and what are the chances it would include archaeology – given that ours is the only country that allows thousands of people to attend hundreds of horribly acquisitive and unregulated metal detecting rallies targeted at archaeological sites every year?