Sir John Lawton Calls for £1 billion to Make Space for Nature 10 Years on from Ground-breaking Report

On the 10th anniversary of their influential Making Space for Nature report, an eminent panel of nature conservation experts, academics and land managers led by Professor Sir John Lawton has written to the Prime Minister calling for immediate action to reverse wildlife declines by committing an additional £1 billion to rebuild nature in England.

In their letter, the panel acknowledges that the original Making Space for Nature report has influenced important government policies, including the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan which promises the establishment of a Nature Recovery Network. However, they argue that most of the 24 recommendations made in their original report have yet to be enacted, despite being welcomed by government at the time.

The Panel called for the £1 billion to be invested in better protection of habitats, ecological restoration at scale and bringing nature into towns and cities.

Sir John Lawton said:

A healthy environment rich in nature is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for our health and prosperity. The habitats that wildlife need to thrive are also what people need for clean air, for flood defence, for natural places to visit that bring inspiration and joy. After a decade of thinking and planning, the time for dithering is over, we now need a decade of action.

The late Prof. Dame Georgina Mace was also a member of the panel and, on publishing of the letter, said:

This week, the Global Biodiversity Outlook has highlighted worrying declines of wildlife across the World. These a declines are happening here too: the UK is one of the most nature depleted nations in the World with nearly half of all species in decline, but it’s not too late to restore abundant wildlife within a generation if we act now.