We all need a legal right to local nature 

Everyone, everywhere, should be able to grow up, and grow old, with nature.

It's been very clear over recent years how important it is for us all to spend time in nature - not least for our mental and physical health and wellbeing.

But the covid pandemic highlighted the inequalities there are around how much we can all access thriving natural spaces: 

  • One in three people in England do not have nature near their home
  • There is little or no greenspace at all in some of the most disadvantaged areas*   
  • Ethnic minority groups are twice as likely to live in a neighbourhood without nature-rich spaces**

The UK Government promised to create equal opportunities and quality of life for everyone across the country - but improving our access to nature has been largely left out of Government plans. 

We can change this together!

Over 90 different organisations have come together to persuade MPs to include legal requirements to improve local access to nature in laws, like the Levelling Up Bill and others.

Please back our call to:

🀝 make equal access to nature a core test of Government policy, including through (but not limited to) its 'Levelling Up' mission 

🏑 make it a legal requirement for developers and public bodies to provide access to nature-rich local spaces for everyone

πŸ‘· provide long-term funding for locally-accessible, nature-rich spaces that are close to people.

Add your name and show your support for #NatureForEveryone

* How Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Framework can help create better places to live
**England’s Green Space Gap

Why is access to nature so important? >

We should all be able to experience the joy of wildlife in our daily lives.

Evidence shows that even seeing nature through a window has a positive impact on our health. Creating more, and better, natural spaces and protecting and improving those we already have, will boost our mental and physical wellbeing, delivering billions of pounds in cost savings to the NHS and creating thousands of jobs.*

This is also critical for the future of nature. The Government has a legally-binding commitment to halt the decline of wildlife by 2030, but much more action is needed. Wildlife is in long-term decline and we will never be able to restore nature if so many communities are left bereft of natural spaces.

If duties on developers and public bodies to bring nature to people’s doorsteps are included in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, we can help guarantee access to nature for all, and make important gains towards Government targets to restore our struggling wildlife.

*Including Access to Green Space Review 

What is the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and why is it important? >

The Government has said it wants to improve opportunities and quality of life for people more evenly across the country - it calls this 'Levelling Up'. The Government's plans include investing money in towns, cities, rural and coastal areas, and giving those areas more control over that investment. To implement its plans, the Government is introducing a new law - the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

The planning system is central to delivering accessible natural spaces where we live. If we are succesful in securing changes to the planning reforms in the Bill, this offers us a vital opportunity to ensure equality in our access to nature.

Legally-binding duties on developers and public authorities are crucial. They will ensure all Government departments consider people’s access to nature when making plans and decisions and work towards delivering equal access. It will also enable Local Authorities to deliver the thriving local nature spaces that communities need and mean developers will be required to factor nature more into plans for development and preparing their proposals.

What are ’nature-rich spaces’? >

In place of sparsely planted parks dominated by run-down concrete playgrounds, we want to see thriving wildlife, abundant habitats and natural play and picnic areas. Bleak, cracking river paths can be transformed into avenues of blossoming trees with thriving reedbeds, fish, insects and birds. These enhanced natural spaces will provide natural flood, climate-change and pollution defences, and homes for wildlife, alongside being great places to walk, cycle and socialise.

All natural spaces in communities should be well-designed and varied, to help people and wildlife to thrive side-by-side. Strict standards will be needed on the quality and quantity of nature expected in these spaces, which our campaign aims to secure. 

In addition to being well-managed to enhance wildlife, these spaces should optimise exercise, play and relaxation and deliver climate and flood protection and urban cooling.