I’m delighted to be able to increase the vital biodiversity funding scheme, which has proved immensely popular with local authorities. They have increased their participation in biodiversity and invasive species projects year-on-year, and the benefits of this are shared by all of us, not least local communities.
I’m particularly pleased that the increased funding includes a new stream to extend the Biodiversity Officer programme across the country. In the Programme for Government, we committed to ensuring that all local authorities have a sufficient number of Biodiversity Officers among their staff complement, and I’m looking forward to seeing this grow over the coming years. Reversing biodiversity loss is among the greatest challenges of our times. Locally-led initiatives can be extremely impactful – supporting them is an important part of the response.