Climate Action

English concern for the environment is higher than ever

A record 90% of people in England are concerned about damage to the natural environment, according to a new survey.

  • 06 September 2019
  • Django Zimmatore

A record 90% of people in England are concerned about damage to the natural environment, according to a new survey.

Natural England’s ‘Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment’ report, the biggest of its kind in the world, was published today and shows England’s evolving opinions about the environment.

One of the other major changes shown by the report is that the use of our natural environment has reached almost 4 billion visits in the year 2018/19, another record high and up from 2.9 billion in 2009/10.

The survey found that most visits to nature are taken on foot and are increasingly close to home, with 44% of visits taken within 1 mile. This shows that people are making use of their local natural environments more than they used to.

Another major trend shown by the report is the huge increase in public awareness about biodiversity decline. This has risen from 49% in 2013/14 to 62% this year.

The survey also extended to ask about people’s behaviour towards being environmentally friendly. It found that those aged 16-24 are twice as likely to want to be more environmentally friendly than over 65s.

Marian Spain, Interim Chief Executive of Natural England, said:

“The overwhelming evidence published today makes clear the priority the public give to investing in nature’s recovery. Wildlife and greenspaces are hugely important for people, providing them with places to exercise, socialise, learn and experience the wonder of the natural world. Natural England is committed to restoring nature by working with partners and the public to help deliver Government’s 25 year Environment Plan.

“This research also underlines how important it is that we create new opportunities for people to connect with nature wherever they live and whatever their age. We want everyone to enjoy the many benefits nature brings and also to take part in caring for their environment.”