Published — 1 November, 2019

Local MP champions the environment


Local MP Andrew Jones has been questioning Minister about environmental issues in the House of Commons as the current session winds up for the General Election on 12 December.

Andrew has supported tree planting projects – taking part in many himself including planting trees at Horseshoe Fields in Knaresborough as part of the Northern Forest project.

Mr Jones asked Zac Goldsmith MP, Minister of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: “I am keen that the next generation are engaged with why climate change happens and what they can do to prevent its impact. Harrogate Borough Council is putting in place a scheme that gives every schoolchild in the borough the opportunity to plant a tree, which will be both fun and educational. Will the Minister encourage other authorities and bodies to offer that opportunity to every schoolchild in our country?”

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough

The Minister responded: “I thank my hon. Friend for his question, and I commend Harrogate Borough CouncilThe National Trust has said that a child today is three times more likely to go to hospital for falling out of bed than falling out of a tree. Obviously I do not recommend either activity, but there is no doubt that children who are insulated from nature are losing out; I very much agree with him. Working with the Woodland Trust and community forests, we are on track to meet our target of planting 1 million trees at English primary schools by 2020, and we committed in the 25-year environment plan to encourage children to be closer to nature in and out of school. “

Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Mr Jones also highlighted the plight of rare birds – particularly hen harriers – asking that the Minister confirms that there are stiff penalties in place for those who maim or kill raptors.  While confirming this the Minister also confirmed that funding is being maintained to support wildlife crime investigations.


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