Commenting on today's proposal to scrap English Nature by Lord Haskins review of DEFRA, Caroline Spelman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment said:

"Today's decision is a step backwards for wildlife conversation in this country."

"English Nature is a unique agency which is highly focused on its task, employ highly motivated staff and have a world wide reputation for excellence.  After today's announcement biodiversity will no longer have its champion.

"English Nature has criticised the Government over its push for GM crops and the Government has huge plans for road and house building projects across the country.  It is perhaps no surprise that the Government seek to abolish an agency that openly criticises and hiders them.

"The British countryside needs an independent body speaking for it.  Mixing up English Nature into an economic delivery mechanism will leave biodiversity muted.

"Once this idea was known, the Government should have thrown this out at once."