Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Questions: 1st March 2012

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
T6. This week the Government announced the creation of 12 nature improvement areas, with a pot of £7.5 million, which no doubt will draw on the considerable experience and work of the Attenborough nature reserve in my constituency. I know that the Secretary of State has a great fondness for Nottinghamshire. Will she be so good as to put on her walking boots and join me at Attenborough to see for herself the great work that has been going on there for many years? [97399]

Mrs Spelman
It is always a pleasure to put on my walking boots. I stood as a candidate for Bassetlaw in the 1992 general election, and I am familiar with the Attenborough reserve and the excellent work being done there. I will be very happy to visit it. I have encountered huge enthusiasm for the nature improvement areas. There have been 76 bids for NIAs. Although only 12 of them have been successful, I am confident that many of the others will go ahead anyway.