Natural England sets out fresh vision for our natural environment
Natural England's vision for the next five years seeks to help all children, wherever they live, to enjoy the benefits of a thriving natural environment
Helping all children, wherever they live, to enjoy the benefits of a thriving natural environment is at the heart of Natural England’s vision for the next five years, published today (Wednesday 7 October).
‘Building Partnerships for Nature’s Recovery’ sets out Natural England’s ambitious blueprint for a more resilient and more accessible natural environment by 2025 and highlights NE’s commitment to helping all enjoy the benefits of our precious natural environment where the live. Recent NE surveys have found approximately one-third of parents wish their children could spend more time outside in nature to support their physical and mental health. The report also found a striking 20 percentage point difference in the time children from the most affluent areas spend outside every week compared with those from more deprived areas.
Natural England’s chief executive Marian Spain will use the plan’s digital launch event, which can be live streamed via NE’s YouTube channel for all to access, to highlight the important role of partnerships in achieving these ambitions and will invite a range of stakeholders to work with Natural England. This will help to ensure our natural environment is protected and can be enjoyed by everyone, including landscapes being restored to provide places of natural beauty, iconic species such as beavers and sea eagles being reintroduced to our rivers, and coasts and new development incorporating green spaces, trees and ponds.
Natural England Chief Executive Marian Spain said:
"The coronavirus pandemic has made us all more aware of how essential access to a thriving natural environment is for our health and wellbeing. But is has also revealed shocking inequalities in who in our society can access nature.
"As we emerge from the pandemic Natural England is committed to taking action now which will revive our natural world and make it part of our daily lives. Restoring nature is a win win win: more wildlife, solutions to climate change and a healthier and more prosperous society.
"Imagine a world where woodlands, peat bogs and coastal marshes soak up carbon from the atmosphere? Where everybody can visit national parks that are rich in nature and beauty? Where beavers help manage our rivers, reducing flooding and tackling pollution? And where every child can play in greenspace near their home? That’s the world we are working to create and why it’s so important that we build partnerships for action to create positive and lasting change for our natural environment."
Today, attendees of the online event will hear more about NE’s vision and the plan which binds its everyday work in support of the 25 Year Environment Plan, Government’s net zero commitments and a Green Recovery:
• Well managed nature recovery network across land, water and sea. These networks will create and protect resilient ecosystems rich in wildlife and natural beauty, enjoyed by people and widely benefiting society
• People connected to the natural environment for their own and society’s wellbeing, enjoyment and prosperity
• Nature-based solutions contributing fully to tackling the climate change challenge and wider environmental hazards and threats
• Improvements in the natural capital that drives sustainable economic growth, healthy food systems and prospering communities
• Evidence and expertise being used by a broad range of partnerships, organisations and communities to achieve Nature recovery and enable effective regulation and accreditation
• A values-led organisation which delivers excellent service standards to all partners, organisations and communities engaged in achieving Nature’s recovery
These ambitions can only be realised through a combined effort between Natural England and partners. Natural England’s work is focused on protecting and enhancing resilient landscapes and seas; sustainable development; greener farming and fisheries; and connecting people with nature.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
"This Government’s has ambitious environmental commitments as seen through our forthcoming Environment Bill and existing 25 Year Environment Plan and net zero commitments.
"Natural England’s ongoing work is vital to ensuring we achieve our aims and build back a greener and healthier natural environment and society following the dreadful impacts of the coronavirus, allowing us to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited for future generations to enjoy."
Data from “recent NE surveys” taken from the following sources: People and Nature Survey: Children’s time in nature (July 2020) and MENE: Children’s time in nature (July 2020)