New campaign calls for a ‘legal right to local nature’

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 21/02/2022
Photo: Shutterstock

Government’s levelling up plans will fail unless they include levelling up access to nature, warn 60+ organisations in a major new cross-sector campaign.

The new ‘Nature For Everyone’ campaign, being led by Wildlife and Countryside Link, brings more than 60 nature, planning, health and equality organisations (including the BMC) together to call for a ‘legal right to nature’ to be a key component of the Government’s Levelling Up reforms.

  • New research finds 85% of people in nature-deprived areas say more natural spaces would improve their quality of life
  • 83% of Brits want greater protections to stop nature loss to development, and 85% say accessible natural spaces should be a much higher priority in new developments.
  • 80% of Brits want a ‘legal right to local nature’, with 83% saying having access to local natural spaces is more important post-pandemic

The calls follow the recent publication of the Levelling Up White Paper, by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Local Communities. The coalition behind the campaign have today launched a petition and written to Secretary of State Michael Gove calling for Government to:

  • make equal access to thriving natural spaces a key measure of success for Levelling Up
  • set legal duties in Levelling Up legislation for developers and public bodies to provide equal access to nature-rich green and blue spaces for everyone
  • provide funding for locally-accessible nature-rich spaces including extending the Levelling Up Fund to green and blue infrastructure projects.

New research from Wildlife and Countryside Link on access to nature, has also been published. This shows: a huge public demand for more and better natural spaces; the massive benefits this could have for our communities (particularly the most deprived and excluded); and the need for national and local leaders to deliver. 

ADD YOUR NAME: to the petition demanding #NatureForEveryone and hold Government to its promises

We need nature everywhere for everyone

We all love getting out and enjoying nature, but do you know just how important nature is to our health? The new Nature For Everyone campaign aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access the benefits of nature.

From hearing birdsong, to the crunch of leaves underfoot or the bubbling of a spring, the sights and sounds of nature are scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and even lower our blood pressure. Just looking at trees from a window has an impact.

The importance of nature to our physical and mental wellbeing has never been clearer than during the pandemic. For those of us with nature near our homes, our natural spaces proved an invaluable respite, and important place for socialising and exercising in lockdown. But the COVID crisis also highlighted the inequalities in access to nature as never before with millions of people unable to access local natural spaces locally.

One in three people don’t have nature near their home, with the poorest communities and people of colour twice as likely to live in nature-deprived areas. Many existing sites are in poor condition or at risk from development. And many are not easily accessible for those with mobility issues or disabilities or those facing wider societal barriers.

This lack of, and deterioration in, our public natural spaces means thousands of communities are missing out on the joys and health benefits of access to nature. A huge local authority funding gap is largely to blame, with an estimated £190 million lost from local authority parks budgets alone since 2016.

That’s why we’ve joined with more than 60 nature, health, planning and equality organisations to demand ‘a legal right to nature’ in upcoming Levelling Up legislation.

We’re asking the government to put a requirement in law for developers and public bodies to provide access to nature-rich green and blue spaces for everyone, and for the government to provide the funding to deliver this.

The Government has promised that its “levelling up” agenda - will create equal opportunity and quality of life for everyone around the country. But this can only succeed if it includes levelling up access to nature.

ADD YOUR NAME: to the petition demanding #NatureForEveryone and hold Government to its promises


DOWNLOAD: the BMC RAD app

Get all the info on crags with the RAD (Regional Access Database) app from the BMC! Available now for Android and iOS, it's free and comes with a host of new features like navigation and parking, weather and tidal updates, and of course information on restrictions or notes on access advice. Get it here now!

DOWNLOAD: The RAD app for Android

DOWNLOAD: The RAD app for iOS

RAD is community led and your comments help keep it up to date so don’t be afraid to add any relevant information after a crag visit which might be useful for other visitors – anything from conditions on the crag, favourite routes or reports of rockfall/other recent changes to the crag are all useful for other climbers visiting.


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 4276 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications
0
BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications

The BMC has set up a new £10,000 per year fund to support volunteer led environmental initiatives and work days to improve crags and upland areas across England and Wales.
Read more »

Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?
0
Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?

As members of the Alliance for Welsh Designated Landscapes, BMC Cymru was recently invited to share a Senedd petition with members, calling for the Cambrian Mountains region in Mid-Wales to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Read more »

Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks
0
Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks

The BMC would like to know what you think about some of the key proposals that government have put forward to help protect and improve our English National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) for future generations.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
1
Anonymous User
11/03/2022
Trail riders on motor bikes wrecking bridal paths and public footpaths .Gangs of them

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications
0

The BMC has set up a new £10,000 per year fund to support volunteer led environmental initiatives and work days to improve crags and upland areas across England and Wales.
Read more »

Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?
0

As members of the Alliance for Welsh Designated Landscapes, BMC Cymru was recently invited to share a Senedd petition with members, calling for the Cambrian Mountains region in Mid-Wales to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Read more »

Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks
0

The BMC would like to know what you think about some of the key proposals that government have put forward to help protect and improve our English National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) for future generations.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »