UK: Wildlife campaigners demand legal right for equal access to nature

UK: Wildlife campaigners demand legal right for equal access to nature

by Pranali Mehta

Wildlife campaigners in the UK will be reportedly urging the government to allow legal entitlement in equal accessibility to nature and green spaces across the country.

Under the plans set by over 60 nature, health, planning, and equality organizations, NGOs and communities will be able to take local authorities to court if they fail to provide healthy green spaces.

Organizations have argued that despite having strong evidence showing how accessible, nature-rich spaces can boost one's mental and physical being, and also reducing mortality, one out of three citizens in England are unable to access nature near their own homes.

The poorest communities are shown to be the most deprived as they are more unlikely to be living in neighborhoods with nature-rich spaces.

The coalition, comprised of Greenpeace, Institute for Public Policy Research, The Wildlife Trusts, and Wildlife and Countryside Link, added that accessible nature should be included in any ‘level up’ plans, with Wildlife and Countryside Link launching a petition to implement it as law.

As per the research by Wildlife and Countryside Link, 80% of the British public have been found to support the legal right to local nature, with 85% saying that the inclusion of accessible natural spaces should be a priority in all new housing developments.

Campaigners have also said that many natural spaces in the country are under the threat of development, citing that 11% of urban green spaces were lost in the last 15 years.

They have suggested that local authorities can improve accessibility to nature by providing better transport links to such green spaces, improving neglected and substandard patches in natural lands, and creating new parks.

Campaigners also stated that the improvement of local natural spaces is important for the government in meeting its target of protecting 30% of land for nature, and preventing a decline in species, by 2030.

Visits to urban parks and green spaces have roughly doubled up in the last decade (pre-pandemic), going from 1.2 billion between 2009 and 2010 to 2.1 billion between 2018 and 2019.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...