Reports. This include the publication of two policy reports: first, A greener, more pleasant land, which focused on reforming rural payments to farmers based on ecosystem services rather than acreage. This has been highly influential on the UK Government as outlined earlier. Second, Saving global nature, set out the argument for greening the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance and stimulated wide debate over how our aid budget is spent. We also compiled an essay collection with 21 entries, entitled Conservation nation, which contains contributions on conservation threats and proposed solutions from academics, scientists, politicians, farmers and representatives of influential NGOs.
Polling reports. Ahead of the 2017 Conservative Party Conference, Bright Blue commissioned and analysed original polling showing the importance of Government communication and action on the environment and climate change to younger voters, which was covered extensively by the national media. In addition, we conducted and analysed polling of Conservative Party voters to understand their attitudes in detail towards energy and environmental policy. This report, entitled Green conservatives?, found that Conservative voters want to strengthen or at the very least maintain current main EU-derived environmental regulations. This led us to conclude that the UK should pursue a “Green Brexit”, terminology that was then adopted by the current Government.
Establishment of an advisory board. Our high-level advisory board was launched in 2017 and has now met twice. The advisory board has been critical in shaping the themes and ideas for our various activities through providing expert advice that feeds directly into our projects.
Policy roundtables and events. We have delivered an extensive programme of roundtables and events, including a major all-day conference on Green conservatism in late 2017.
Working groups. We established four working groups to examine conservation in rural, urban, marine and international contexts. To date, the groups have met 12 times, and their output will inform the publication of our forthcoming manifesto on conservation.
Call for written evidence. We conducted a call for written evidence that closed earlier this year. We received 14 submissions from groups including the National Trust, the RSPB and the Wildlife and Countryside Link. All the evidence we receive will inform the development of policy suggestions in the forthcoming manifesto.