This has just arrived in my inbox from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and I would like to share it with you. Whatever one thinks about Brexit I’m not happy about our government’s plans to dismantle sensible and sustainable EU laws regarding our environment. I’ve just returned from Morecambe Bay which is mentioned below so have added incentive to highlight the issue. As usual, I am biased and proud of it.
The Retained EU Law Bill, nicknamed the “Bulldozer Bill”, threatens vital laws that protect our most precious wild spaces and creatures.


Senior Conservation Officer for Policy and Advocacy at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, David Dunlop, discusses the impact this could have locally and why we are calling on the UK Government to #DefendNature and bin the Bulldozer Bill.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union.


Robert Burns, ‘To A Mouse’

In the months just before the annual break for tinsel and holly and the ringing in of a New Year, a Bill introduced under Liz Truss’s brief Government has been remorselessly working its way through Parliament like one of those horror movie zombies.

If it were to become law the Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill – dubbed the ‘Bulldozer Bill’ for reasons that will become all too clear below – would steadily scrub from the statute books all UK laws that have been derived from EU law over the 50 or so years that the UK was a member – those are the ones that were rolled over into UK law en masse, more-or-less unchanged, during the chaos of Teresa May’s Government, ironically to prevent even further chaos. Now that we have left, there is no link between this domestic law and the EU.

Regardless of there being any need for such haste, this ‘Bulldozer Bill’, which was introduced by now backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg during his brief tenure as Business Secretary under Liz Truss’s Government, would summarily get rid of them all by 31st December this year through the abuse of a “Sunset Clause”, previously used only to ensure draconian temporary emergency laws, like those on Covid-19 lockdowns, would lapse automatically unless Parliament agreed to their renewal after debate.

Ministers would have to actively choose which out of these estimated 2,400 laws and regulations to retain or change before the end of this year (that’s about seven a day full-time with no breaks for weekends or holidays); and the ‘Bulldozer Bill’ also says that any ministerial changes made now or in the future, no matter how vital for nature’s recovery, must not be a “burden” on business, or they would be automatically unlawful. The relevant Ministers would have tyrannical power to make such changes without any consultation of the public, of conservation bodies (including The Wildlife Trusts), or even the sovereign UK Parliament and its devolved assemblies.

Retained EU laws provide vital environmental protections for our air, rivers, and wildlife. They helped remove the UK’s 1970s reputation of being the ‘dirty man of Europe’ by cleaning up our waters and have kept our internationally precious nature sites safer from damage. In the local context, the “Bulldozer Bill” puts eight Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), eight Special Protection Areas (SPAs), and at least a dozen species at risk. Locally, these would include the following places:

  • Morecambe Limestones SAC, which includes our Warton Crag Nature Reserve, a paradise for some of Britain’s rarest butterflies including the pearl-bordered fritillary and small pearl-bordered fritillary.
  • Manchester Mosses SAC, which includes our Astley Moss Nature Reserve, home to the Manchester Argus butterfly, which we reintroduced to the site back in 2020 after being missing from this landscape for nearly 150 years.
  • Mersey Narrows & Wirral Foreshore SPA, which includes our Seaforth Nature Reserve, a coastal nature reserve, home to hundreds of thousands of waders and seabirds including up to 1 percent of the UK population of common tern, come summer.
  • Shell Flat & Lune Deep Reef SAC. The Lune Deep is an 80 m deep canyon carved into the shallow seabed of Morecambe Bay. Its craggy sides provide a home to a dense “sward” of plant-like sea creatures such as sea anemones, sponges, brittle stars (related to starfish), Hornwrack, and Sea-beard that feast on the tiny plankton carried to and fro on the powerful undersea tidal currents that rush past them twice a day. Edible Crabs, Lobsters and Squat-lobsters scuttle and swim amongst these. Shell Flat, in contrast is an apparently permanent bank of sand, submerged in all but the lowest tides. It has very few species of sea life – mainly brittle stars and tellins (a sort of bivalve mollusc) – but is an important feeding area for Common Scoter, a species of shy sea-duck that spends its winters in huge flocks resting on the open Irish Sea whilst moulting. It’s also an important geological feature as most sandbanks come and go over the years, but it features even on maps from the turn of the 18th century in the days of sail.

And the following species:

  • Hazel Dormouse – recently reintroduced into the Arnside-Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Sand Lizard – one of the UK’s rarest reptiles, found in the Sefton Coast dunes and recently reintroduced by us into the Fylde dunes
  • Bats – of which the following species are known from our area; Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Brandt’s Bat, Whiskered Bat, Daubenton’s Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat, and Noctule.
  • Harbour Porpoise – thought to breed just off our coast and specially protected along with all other whale and dolphin species found in the Irish Sea.

Most of these laws and regulations relate to environmental protection, but others cover things as disparate as your right to paid annual leave, food labelling for allergens, equal pay for men and women, minimum food hygiene standards, and bans on testing cosmetics on animals; and all to be bulldozed simply because they originated in the EU – where they were often originally proposed by the UK Government; so the ‘Bulldozer Bill’ is also opposed by the Trades Union Congress and the Institute of Directors, amongst many others, due to concerns for people’s health, safety, and welfare.

What a complete waste of our Parliament’s, Government’s, and civil servants’ time. Time that they would be much better spending delivering on the Government’s own commitment to restore 30% of UK land and sea for nature by 2030. And time that your Wildlife Trust and other nature charities would much prefer to spend on working to deliver nature’s recovery instead of fighting this retro-1970s fantasy fest of an attack on nature. If Rishi Sunak wants to signal a new period of safe and stable government, he must pull the brakes on this runaway bulldozer.


Thanks for reading.

11 thoughts on “SAVE OUR NATURE AND MORE.

  1. Clare

    It makes me angry and despairing! I’m writing to MP and councillor, but expect a trite, unsatisfactory reply at best.

    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      I’ve been with them for years. They produce a good magazine and I believe the next one has an article about Trowbarrow contributed by the ‘rockman’ Barry.
      Sorry to interrupt your spray painting yesterday.


        It’s all been scrapped again. Some of the yellow leaked under the masking tape. I’ve stripped it all back, repainted the whole of each rotor again with the metallic paint and I have painted some 3mm. masking tape with the yellow paint and plan to fix that on the rotor tips instead of painting. I have used that technique before with success, so fingers crossed. Your visits are always welcome – no bother.

  2. Michael Graeme

    All of this is very worrying. That bulldozer bill is wrong on so many levels and deeply cynical. If a hostile foreign power had plotted to destroy the UK, economically, environmentally, socially and reputationally, they couldn’t have done a better job of it than we have done ourselves.

  3. Pingback: THE BAY. | bowlandclimber

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