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Our environment faces massive pressure and we continue to lose irreplaceable elements of our heritage. Slowly but surely, our precious remaining natural spaces are ruined or compromised by inappropriate developments. Architectural traits that characterise our townscapes are casually demolished to make way for anonymous apartment blocks. Our aquifers are put under intolerable strain as we squeeze every last drop out of them, transforming them from life- giving sources into barren, salty wells. 

Successive governments have not done enough to arrest this decline, to find a way to transcend the conflict between development and environmental protection. 

EU accession transformed the way we protect our environment – both in terms of the hugely increased spending devoted to environmental issues and in terms of the EU laws and standards put in place.