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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species-listed birds were traded into the UK in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she has received on the number of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species-listed birds traded into the EU (a) in 2000, (b) in 2001, (c) in 2002, (d) in 2003, (e) in 2004 and (f) to date in 2005. 
The figures take account of all CITES-listed birds imported into the EU, including birds imported by countries which have become EU member states since 2000 (the figures also include those imported into the UK).
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of regeneration of waterways on surrounding areas and communities; and if she will make a statement on plans to restore Swindon's canals. 
Jim Knight: Our policy paper on the inland waterways, Waterways for Tomorrow" recognises the evidence produced by many reports and studies that the improvement, development and restoration of inland waterways acts as an effective catalyst for economic and social regeneration of both urban and rural areas. I understand that the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal Trust is currently seeking funding for the restoration of the Wiltshire and Berkshire and the North Wiltshire Canals, both of which formerly passed through Swindon. The trust will wish to demonstrate the benefits that restoration of these canals will bring to Swindon and other places on their routes in terms of recreation, local amenity, tourism, and environmental enhancement.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on farmers and their land of the provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
It is too early to make an accurate assessment of the impact of the new right of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 but monitoring procedures have been put in place. The Countryside Agency will carry out an initial four-year monitoring programme measuring both the impacts and the outputs of the new right across a range of key areas.
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The survey will be carried out across a sample of land owners and managers across all mapping areas in order to track awareness and understanding of the CROW Act. Importantly, the survey will also address land owners' and managers' experience of the new right of access and will track both attitudes and perceptions of how the Act is working on the ground.
Where land is subject to the new right, the CROW Act strikes a careful balance between delivering more and better access, and respecting other interests in the countryside. The new right is subject to restrictions to take account of legitimate interests, including the need to ensure effective management of land and livestock. Landowners and agricultural tenants have the discretion to exclude or restrict the new right for up to 28-days each year, for any reason. They may also apply for restrictions or closures where necessary for land management, safety or fire prevention purposes. In addition, we have established a national access management grant scheme to help local authorities, land managers and communities manage open access in their areas proactively. Funding is available for a rapid response service to help access authorities respond quicklywithin 72 hoursto unforeseen on-site management issues raised by land managers.
Overall, we hope the new right of access will provide opportunities for land managers to diversify their farming practices to take advantage of new visitors and to promote their local produce to a new market.
Part II of the CROW Act makes a statutory obligation for local authorities to produce rights of way improvement plans. A key aspect of both developing and implementing the plans is to work with landowners and other partners to identify and agree new routes that will improve the network and provide opportunities for diversification of farming activities e.g. horse riding and recreational cycling. The majority of the other provisions in Part II of the Act are aimed at better delivery of existing goals for the rights of way network under current legislation and place few new burdens on farmers.
In respect of Part III of the Act concerning sites of special scientific interest, the regulatory impact assessment prepared at the time the Bill was introduced to Parliament considered the likely effects of the proposals on owners and occupiers of SSSIs, of which farmers are one group. No further assessment of the impact of the SSSI provisions in the Act has been made. However the entire SSSI regime as enhanced by the CROW Act provisions has been challenged and found to be compatible with the human rights of owners and occupiers of SSSIs by the court of first instance and the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions have taken place between the Environment Agency and British Waterways on the inclusion of the Gloucester Sharpness Canal at Frampton-on-Severn as a flood-protection device; and where responsibility falls to compel British Waterways to undertake flood protection work. 
Mr. Morley: Defra has overall policy responsibility for flood risk management in England and provides funding to the flood and coastal defence operating authorities, in this case the Environment Agency. The works programme to manage risk is driven by the operating authorities; Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on what specific works to undertake.
Powers to undertake flood defence works are established in the Land Drainage Act 1991 and Water Resources Act 1991. These powers are permissive. Neither Act confers a responsibility on either Defra or the Agency to compel British Waterways to undertake flood protection work.
I understand that the embankment of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal protects the residents of Frampton-on-Severn against flooding from the Severn Estuary. The Environment Agency considers the condition of the embankment to be of a sufficient standard to provide the requisite protection. Maintenance will be required over time and the agency and British Waterways have agreed to work together to ensure this is done. As a last resort, the agency would have the legal powers to carry out necessary maintenance work itself to ensure continued protection against flooding from the estuary but it is highly unlikely these powers will be required.
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency are responsible for providing planning authorities with advice on the environmental impacts, including flood risk, of new developments. In order to strengthen the influence of the Agency, the Government will shortly consult on revised guidance to planning authorities on how they should take account of current and future flood risk in making planning decisions. This will include a proposal that the EA become statutory consultees on certain categories of planning applications.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers the Environment Agency has to prevent development projects going ahead which could increase the risk of flooding to households. 
In order to strengthen the influence of the Agency, the Government will shortly consult on revised guidance to planning authorities on how they should take account of current and future flood risk in making planning decisions. Among other things this consultation exercise will propose that EA become statutory consultees for certain categories of planning applications, and that a power be established for the call-in" of applications where EA have objected to a planning application on flood risk grounds and have been unable to resolve their objections with the planning authority.
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