We are working to reduce the unnecessary burdens that hold back rural business, not least our farmers. I see my role as getting out of people’s hair.
This is why I am particularly interested in Biodiversity Offsetting.
Offsetting gives us a chance to improve the way our planning system works. It gets round the long-running conundrum of how to grow the economy at the same time as improving the environment. It could provide real opportunities in our National Parks, where the necessary extension of a farm building could result in the enhancement of an existing habitat or the creation of a new one.Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/owen-paterson-speech-to-national-parks-conference
Paterson is not known for his knowledge of environmental matters and publicly struggles with even the most basic concepts. It is not clear whether (as in his previous failure to grasp the evidence related to badger-culling, effects of neonicotinoids and climate change) he simply does not understand what national parks are or what biodiversity offsetting means, or whether (as with his rather more sinister role in raptor persecution or privatisation of the Forestry Commission) he is deliberately sabotaging the resources he is entrusted to protect. Merely incompetent or willfully negligent? In either case it is clear that he should now be removed from his post.