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Clegg ‘proud of green successes’

Words: Laura Edgar

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is celebrating green achievements in England as new analysis reveals a ‘thriving green economy’.

The government explains that in the past four years, a million trees have been planted in towns and cities while 940 miles of hedgerows have been either restored or planted. Additionally, 150,000 acres of field margins, wetlands and woodlands have been created.

Speaking at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Clegg, who was there to see the impact of plastic waste, including bags, on wildlife, said: “From coasts to cities, and woodland to water, I have made protecting the environment one of my top priorities. Seeing for myself the effects of plastics waste on wildlife here at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary only reinforces how crucial it is that we keep the pressure on and don’t let protecting nature slip down the political agenda in the UK.

“At the beginning of this coalition government we made ambitious promises. Four years on, I’m proud to say that we’ve made real changes. From planting new trees, to boosting green travel options in cities, the powerful steps we’ve taken will conserve our environment now and for years to come.”

Some 256 kilometres of coastal paths have also been approved in England, including 163 kilometres in Weymouth, Dorset. Coastal areas in Cumbria, Norfolk, Durham, Hartlepool and Sunderland will also benefit. Additionally, eight cycling cities have been created to improve green travel.

Additionally, a 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags in is set to come in England in October, bringing England into step with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In 2013, supermarkets gave out more than eight billion single-use plastic bags across the UK – weighing up to 57,000 tonnes.