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New government schemes to restore up to 300,000 hectares of wildlife habitat by 2042 are a victory for the Daily Express and our Green Britain Needs You campaign. Yesterday Environment Secretary George Eustice announced that 15 projects will be selected as part of the initial stages of the Landscape Recovery initiative.

They will focus on ensuring the survival of at-risk species and reviving damaged rivers and streams.

Also, the projects will deliver “significant environmental benefits” such as carbon savings of between 25 and 50 kilotonnes per year ‑ roughly equivalent to taking up to 25,000 cars off the road.

Mr Eustice said: “We want to see profitable farming businesses producing nutritious food, underpinning a growing rural economy, where nature is recovering and people have better access to it. We are working with over 3,000 farmers to trial our approach.”

The Local Nature Recovery scheme will pay farmers for locally targeted actions that make space for nature, such as creating habitats, planting trees or restoring peat and wetland areas.

Green groups also praised the new drive to bring up to 60 percent of England’s agricultural soil under sustainable management by 2030.

Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, said: “This marks a historic shift in the way we manage our land. 

“The schemes set us on course towards the production of sustainable food while rising to the urgent task of halting and reversing the decline of nature.”

The Express and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have raised half of the £90,000 to buy Horse Common in the New Forest in order to return it to nature. To donate, send cheques made payable to RSPB to Daily Express Horse Common appeal, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfords, SG19 2DL or visit rspb.org.uk/horsecommonappeal.

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