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Wetlands: Conservation

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on Government policy on the protection of marshes, wetlands and mud and salt flats in and around the Thames estuary and other major rivers. (160569)

The Government are firmly committed to the protection of these habitats, both for the important biodiversity they support and the wider benefits they bring, such as natural flood defences, mitigation of climate change and public recreation. For these reasons, most of our major river estuaries have been designated as protected areas, including parts of the Thames, and development may only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.