The Government’s long-awaited Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill was introduced into Parliament this month (June) and with it has come a pivotal chance to improve natural spaces for communities all across the country.
This Bill will shape England’s planning laws for future decades and CIEEM is working with Wildlife and Countryside Link and more than 80 environment, health and social justice organisations to ensure this new law benefits people and wildlife alike.
This change is hugely important, because while we all love nature and enjoying nature is good for us, not everyone can easily access nature-rich spaces. One in three people in the UK don’t have access to nature near-home and that has a knock-on effect on mental and physical health and even life-expectancy.
Many of our parks, canalsides, woodlands and more have suffered neglect as Local Authority budget-cuts have bitten hard. And new developments simply aren’t building in enough access to nature. This means less and poorer quality nature in our neighbourhoods, a more unhealthy local environment, less opportunity to exercise and relax, and this all adds up to a big cost for people’s wellbeing.
Despite the benefits of access to nature for people’s wellbeing, it was almost entirely left out of the Government’s levelling up plans. That’s why CIEEM is supporting the Nature for Everyone campaign to help shape our new planning laws to put wildlife and well-being front and centre of Levelling Up.
As the Bill progresses through Parliament throughout the summer and autumn, we will be fighting to enshrine access to nature in the Bill in order to secure access to nature for everyone.
But to do so, we need your support! To show our MPs that we want more and better nature in our neighbourhoods please sign and share the petition.