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CELEBRATING ENGLAND'S NATURAL BEAUTY ELLIOT MORLEY LAUNCHES GREEN WEEK 15-19 APRIL

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Green Week was launched by environment minister, Elliot Morley, today ...
Green Week was launched by environment minister, Elliot Morley, today

as he visited Woodwalton Fen, a national nature reserve and site of

special scientific interest (SSSI) in Cambridgeshire. Speaking at the

launch, Mr Morley encouraged the public to support and enjoy the

country's wealth of habitats and wildlife by getting involved in a

week long celebration of activities around the country.

Restoration work by English Nature is already underway at Woodwalton

Fen to restore 208ha to favourable condition through removal of scrub

to create new habitat and link existing areas.

Green Week, a European commission funded initiative, celebrates the

importance of international wildlife protection in Europe and takes

place between 15 and 19 April this year with events at wildlife sites

throughout Europe during this week and beyond, including special

areas of conservation (SACs) and special protection areas (SPAs).

Mr Morley said:

'I am delighted to be launching Green Week. This is a wonderful

reminder to us all of how many opportunities our natural environment

offers us. Meeting wildlife experts, taking part in guided walks or

making bat boxes are just a few of the activities planned to

encourage visitors to enjoy nature conservation sites in the UK.

'We have a rich natural heritage but there is no doubt that many

species and habitats are at risk. It is only by continuing to take

action to protect our environment that we can ensure generations to

come will have the same opportunities to enjoy this natural beauty.'

NOTES:

1. Green Week is an annual event organised by the European Commission

to highlight environmental issues across the European union. This

year the general theme of the week is: 'Our future: Our choice -

Changing our ways.' The week's programme is intended to put the

spotlight on the following areas:

- children's environment and health

- sustainable consumption and production

- the World Summit on Sustainable Development: Enriching the EU's

contribution - making globalisation work for sustainable

development; and

- Natura 2000 - from vision to reality.

2. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the

Habitats Directive, which aims to protect wildlife species and their

habitats. The Directive identifies around 200 types of habitat, 200

animals and over 500 plant species as being of community interest,

and requiring protection. The Directive includes the requirement for

special areas of conservation (and special protection areas, notified

in accordance with the Wild Birds Directive - 79/409/EC) to

contribute to a Natura 2000 network of sites across the EU.

3. The EU Green Week website is:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/greenweek/index.htm

4. English Nature is the government agency that champions the

conservation of wildlife and natural features throughout England.

5. Restoration work at Woodwalton Fen is being funded by money from

the government's Capital Modernisation Fund.

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