Natural England to remain separate body

Plans to merge Natural England and the Environment Agency have been shelved after a government review of their activities.

DEFRA has published the outcome of a triennial review of the two organisations.

The department has decided both will be retained as separate non-departmental public bodies and will retain their current statutory roles.

The Wildlife Trust said the decision not to merge was a welcome move.

“The Wildlife Trust believe a merger at this time would create a major distraction and a prolonged period of disruption and navel gazing, when the pressures on nature grow and a strong statutory voice for nature is essential,” it said.

Natural England said the review had highlighted the importance of Natural England, DEFRA and the Environment Agency working closely together to improve service delivery, identify efficiencies and give customers and partners a more integrated and effective customer experience.

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