Levelling up access to nature big and small – the Nature for Everyone campaign

As the Nature for Everyone campaign gathers pace, Emma Clarke, Policy and Information Coordinator at Wildlife and Countryside Link, explains why access to nature should be a focus point in a levelling up agenda.

With wildlife declining across the country, it is obvious that we need more nature everywhere, to boost biodiversity, support mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and to improve people’s health and wellbeing. What is not always obvious is that we need more people connecting with and enjoying nature in order to achieve this. When people are connected to nature, they take action to protect it.

People connect with nature in a variety of ways, from using natural spaces for transit, for exercise, for socialising, for learning, for playing, for relaxing, for paddling, for enjoying. This has huge benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing, from lowering levels of anxiety and depression to boosting activity.

People need small patches of nature and parks near where they live, as well as larger landscapes such as National Parks, to enjoy nature.

But 1 in 3 people don’t have nature near their home. Ensuring access to nature for everyone will require (re)connecting people with nature big and small. This is the aim of a new campaign, launched by Wildlife and Countryside Link with a coalition of 80+ organisations from across the nature, access, planning and health sectors - including Campaign for National Parks.

The Nature for Everyone campaign is calling for the Government to provide equitable access to nature for all, from nature nearby to National Parks.

By protecting existing access to nature, reviving and enhancing nature in existing spaces, tackling barriers to people’s access to nature, and providing new natural spaces where needed, there are many ways to help ‘level up’ access to nature.

The Nature for Everyone campaign is proposing access to nature is a metric of success for the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and new duties in the forthcoming levelling up legislation on developers and public bodies to provide access to nature. Supported by sufficient resources and funding, these changes can help ‘level up’ access to nature across the country for the benefit of people, nature and climate.

Join the Nature for Everyone campaign in calling for levelling up access to nature for everyone by signing the petition today.