ENVIRONMENT Secretary Michael Gove welcomed a Colchester declaration to restore and recover nature.

Mr Gove recorded a video which was shown to about 140 people at the Landscapes for Life conference.

The event was co-hosted by the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty team and was held at Essex University in Wivenhoe.

In his presentation, Mr Gove welcomed the development of the Colchester declaration.

The AONB network, which includes the picturesque Dedham Vale, believes now is the time for action to save wildlife.

The declaration vows to create opportunities within AONBs for people to make an emotional connection with nature, prepare a nature recovery plan for each AONB, and says each AONB adopts a species action plan.

Mr Gove said: “I warmly welcome your statement of intent for the recovery of nature.

“The Colchester declaration, your collective pledge for nature, to protect what remains and recover what has been lost. Landscape is a richer concept which embraces the wider environment, it’s how nature co-exists with the human realm.”