Environmental policy reform
The Ramblers’ position on changes to environmental policy in England
Improving access to nature for everyone
The Environment Act (2021) requires the UK government to set legally binding targets and develop long-term plans to restore nature, improve air and water quality and reduce waste in England. We support this, not least because of the importance of being able to walk in places that are clean, pleasant and rich in nature.
Before the Act was passed, we advocated that the legislation should require the government to set targets and create plans to improve people’s access to nature. Whilst this did not become part of the legislation, the Act does give the government the power to set targets and create plans to improve people’s enjoyment of the natural environment. So we are working to ensure that the government makes use of its powers to connect more people with the nature.
What we want to see in the future
The pandemic highlighted just how important it is for everyone to have easy access to nature. However, the restrictions also highlighted that for many people this is far from guaranteed. This inequality can be addressed by the government making use of its powers in the Environment Act to help:
- Tackle unequal access to nature.
- Make sure that access is a national priority in the long-term.
- Secure more resources and funding for access improvements
We believe targets and plans to improve people’s enjoyment of the natural environment should focus on:
- Ensuring there are more green and natural spaces close to where people live.
- Making it easier for people to get to the green and natural spaces near where they live
- Improving the quality of green and natural spaces so that they are places people want to visit because they are attractive and welcoming
Changes to farming policy are a great opportunity to strengthen our connection to the natural world.
We believe getting closer to nature through walking can give us all a boost to our wellbeing. We work to look after the environment for future generations.