Natural England inherited its budget for 2006-07 from English Nature, the Rural Development Service (RDS) and parts of the Countryside Agency, which came together to create the new organisation. It is, therefore, not strictly possible to make the comparison the hon. Gentleman is looking for.
The full-year ‘core’ budget for Natural England has now been set at just over £170 million, but this does not include a number of significant areas of expenditure such as the full costs of former RDS corporate services and some of the costs of the Shared Service Organisation. Once these and other funding streams are factored in, the total budget will be over £225 million.
The Secretary of State hopes to be able to announce Natural England's 2007-08 budget in the next few days.