New government plans which will change wildlife protections have been slammed as an “attack on nature” by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.

The environmental group has said it is “angry” at proposals to remove the fracking ban and other rules that protect natural habitats.

Jamie Audsley, chief executive of HWT described the government’s reforms as “dangerous” and urged supporters to write to local politicians.

“[The] removing of environmental protection, making it easier to develop without due respect to wildlife and potential downgrading of support for farmers to farm in a green way, could be really damaging,” he said.

“Taken as a package, that’s an unprecedented attack on nature that we are really concerned about. 

“Local meadows, the rivers, things that are really important to the beauty of Herefordshire and our lives, our economy in terms of farming and the attraction of tourism could be under threat.”

The trust has urged the public to “defend nature” by writing to local MPs and councillors. And it said its members’ response to a plea for support had been unprecedented.

However, the government has hit back at critics, claiming it was not going back on a commitment to the environment.

Prime Minister Liz Truss told the BBC that fracking would only resume with local consent.

And the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told the BBC a strong economy and environment went “hand-in-hand”.

“Bureaucratic processes in the planning system do not necessarily protect the environment – by making sure we have the right regulations for our nation, we can make this happen,” the spokesperson added.