OUTLANDER star Sam Heughan has branded UK Government plans for low-tax, low-regulation investment zones “very worrying”.

It comes as the RSPB expressed their fear that “nowhere will be safe” if Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss’s plans for the zones across the UK go ahead.

The Chancellor announced on Friday that around 40 areas in England are in discussions about becoming investment zones. These are set to be places where planning restrictions will be eased and businesses given further tax cuts in an effort to promote growth.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has indicated that the Holyrood government is in discussions with Westminster about the proposals, but stressed they would have to be right for Scotland before anything can be agreed. The Tory government is hoping to roll out the zones across all four nations.

But RSPB England, on behalf of the UK-wide charity, stressed that the scheme means wildlife is facing “one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades”.

With EU protections set to go too, the charity fears this government could bring about the end of “laws that protect our birds and animals, everywhere from forests to our coasts”.

“Where you live, the wildlife and places you love, from the shires to the cities – all under threat from bulldozers, from concrete,” RSPB England warned.

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The charity called on concerned members of the public to tell their MPs about their opposition to the proposals.

In a tweet, keen Scottish independence supporter and Outlander actor Heughan expressed his own fears over investment zones.

The National:

“Very worrying,” said the SAS: Red Notice star. “Plus the introduction of fracking in UK.”

Fracking is the process of hydraulic fracturing, which uses high-pressure liquid to release gas from shale formations.

Currently only England is seeking to end the ban on fracking. Liz Truss is ending the moratorium, which has been place since 2019 after a series of earth tremors.

This is a politically risky move, as the 2019 Conservative manifesto pledged not to lift England’s moratorium unless “the science shows categorically it can be done safely”.

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A Government-commissioned report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) suggested more data was needed, but despite the lack of scientific progress Truss’s administration has torn up the commitment anyway.

After the announcement, Scottish Energy Secretary Michael Matheson reiterated his Government’s opposition to new fracking licences.

He said: “To be clear – this policy change does not apply in Scotland.

“Fracking can only happen here if licences are issued by the Scottish Government and we do not intend to issue any licences.”

A spokesman for the First Minister later said there is no review point for the Scottish Government’s position on fracking.