Nature for Everyone
From listening to birdsong, to walks in the woods with friends, getting out in nature – for just 2 hours a week – has proven benefits for our physical and mental health. But not everyone can easily access nature-rich spaces. 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.
We want this to change. We want everyone to have access to nature. That’s why Earth Trust have joined more than 70 organisations to demand a ‘legal right to nature’ with the Nature for Everyone national campaign.
We are asking the Government to make equal access to nature, and the health and wellbeing benefits it provides, a core part of their Levelling Up plans. Along with other national organisations like WWF, Friends of the Earth and the National Trust, we want to see a legal mandate for developers and public bodies to provide access to nature-rich green spaces for everyone, and for the government to provide the funding to deliver this.
The Nature for Everyone campaign, launched by the Wildlife and Countryside Link, addresses one of the core objectives that has been at the heart of Earth Trust for many years, to champion natural accessible greenspaces for everyone. It helps to shine a spotlight on this subject and raise it up to a national platform and political position that has long been over-looked. Earth Trust has been working on this agenda, both through strategic relationships, as well as our role delivering high quality green spaces and nature for thousands of people across the District.
We actively manage and provide access to one of the region’s largest natural greenspaces, but we go above and beyond providing access, by actively engaging people through programmes, volunteering, events and shared experiences.
We are already engaging the regional decision-makers and influencers to think differently about how to ‘build nature in’, not just to landscapes, but into built infrastructure, community assets and cultural thinking; this is no mean feat, but Earth Trust is taking steps to make this more of a reality.
Our location in the South East and Oxfordshire – one the most rapidly developing UK counties – positions us at the sharp edge of thinking through the challenges of creating and managing spaces that enable both people and nature to thrive in balance.
We are fully committed to advocating and advising on building nature and green spaces into existing and new development, to champion green infrastructure policies and practices in local authorities, and influence the planning system to ensure that access to green space is written into all future housing developments, starting in Oxfordshire and wider afield in future.
While we have long been working to influence change at a regional level, we have not previously taken part in a nation-wide lobbying campaign. We chose to join the Nature for Everyone campaign because the message is one we strongly believe in. We felt it was time to bring our experience of demonstrating and managing accessible green spaces to the table. To be united with so many like-minded partner organisations (as well as a few celebrity names) is empowering and a unique opportunity to have our many small voices amplified.
We will be using our ‘on the ground’ experience to support the ongoing WCL campaign’s voice; channelling real life scenarios and examples through to national policy and social change – and we are hopeful that the campaign will provide Earth Trust with the extra ‘step-up’ to reach the ears and eyes of decision makers in Westminster and elsewhere. When people come together, positive change can happen. Let’s make the Government take notice!
By protecting our existing access to nature, reviving run-down places, and creating new natural spaces within all future developments, we can put nature at the heart of every community.
So, if you want to guarantee nature-rich neighbourhoods across England, please join us in asking the Government for a legal right to local nature.
We already have almost 24,000 petitions signed. Could you help us reach 27,000?
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