Natural England
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Christmas lunch doesn’t have to cost the Earth

Natural England and Prue Leith launch The Nature of Food.

Natural England has teamed up with celebrity chef and writer, Prue Leith, to produce The Nature of Food – a new report launched today (Wednesday 2 December) at London’s famous Leadenhall Market. The Nature of Food looks at the links between our favourite dishes and the health of our countryside and wildlife, and shows that good food doesn’t have to cost the earth.

The report provides an illustrated food journey ‘from farm to fork’, showcasing the individual stories of farmers and food producers who, with the help of Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship schemes, are producing high quality, distinctive food and helping to look after the natural environment.

Including top facts about our culinary history and regional food heritage – from the unique Wensleydale cheese to the ‘Bedfordshire clanger’ – The Nature of Food also addresses tougher issues around the decline of traditional orchards, farmland bird numbers and the effects of over-fishing.

With Christmas round the corner, Prue Leith has donated a series of recipes to The Nature of Food which aim to help people make informed choices about their Christmas ingredients and celebrate British food produced with nature in mind. The digest of Prue Leith’s special Christmas recipes is available from selected food markets and public information points around the country and can also be downloaded from Natural England’s website at:

Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: “Environmental Stewardship schemes cover two thirds of England’s farmland and have helped ensure that producing food does not have to come at the expense of our landscapes or wildlife if we adopt the right approaches. Our decisions about which foods to buy can have an equally important impact. By finding out about where our food comes from and by making informed food choices, we can support high quality food production, a healthy natural environment and the wildlife that depends on it.”

Prue Leith, celebrity chef and author, said: “The food our farmers grow is not only some of the best in the world but it is also a vital part of our culture and heritage. It is also important to realise that food produced in harmony with the environment is not just for the well-heeled. Inexpensive, locally grown ordinary veg often has more flavour than the priciest imported stuff. I hope the recipes I have provided for The Nature of Food remind us that, if we can be demanding about origin and quality at Christmas, we can be assertive savvy shoppers for the rest of the year too.”

For further information:

For copies of the report, images and interview requests, please contact Beth Rose, Senior Press Officer, 0300 060 1405 or 07900 608 052 or e-mail:

About Natural England

Natural England is the government’s independent advisor on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

 - We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.

 - We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Marine Conservation Zones, and advising widely on their conservation.

 - We run England’s Environmental Stewardship green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.

 - We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats. - We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.

For further information contact: The National Press Office on 0845 603 9953, or out of hours 07970 098005. For further information about Natural England please visit:

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