This week Wycombe MP Steve Baker writes exclusively to Bucks Free Press readers.

I regularly receive letters about the care of animals and the preservation of the natural environment, and know this is something many constituents care deeply about.

We have a wonderful variety of natural landscapes and habitats in this country and in our district.

The Government’s recently announced 25 Year Environment Plan sets out a comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting our natural inheritance.

The aims of the Environment Plan are simple: cleaner air and water; plants and animals which are thriving; and a cleaner, greener country for us all.

The Government has already taken action to improve environmental protections, from banning microbeads which harm our marine life, to improving air quality and standards of animal welfare.

By using land more sustainably and creating new habitats for wildlife, including by planting more trees, we can arrest the decline in native species and improve our biodiversity.

Connecting more people with the environment will promote greater well-being. And by making the most of emerging technologies, we can build a cleaner, greener country and reap the economic rewards of the clean growth revolution. 

The success of the 5p plastic bag charge in reducing the use of carrier bags by 85 per cent shows the difference government action can make.

As well as setting an example for others to follow in our treatment of the countryside, rivers, coastlines and air, we will also bring the United Kingdom’s international influence to bear in pursuit of a cleaner and safer world.

From reducing our carbon emissions and building resilience against climate change, to leading international action to protect endangered species, the UK is an international champion for the protection of the planet.

When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, control of important areas of environmental policy will return to these shores. 

The Government will use this opportunity to strengthen the protection of our natural environment and develop new methods of agricultural and fisheries support which put the environment first.

I should like to praise local groups which are already working on projects in our community, such as the Chiltern Rangers, the Chilterns’ Society, Wycombe Wildlife Group and the Booker Commons and Woods Preservation Society amongst others.