Wildlife Trust wants access to nature in Hucknall, Bulwell and Notts set in law

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Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has backed a report that, for the first time, calls for people’s access to nature to be set in law.

The move is also seen as timely as Hucknall residents fight proposals to build 3,000 new houses on green belt land in the town,

The document ‘Planning – a new way forward: how the planning system

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can help our health, nature and climate’, comes at a critical time for the Government’s Planning White Paper and the recently announced “pause” on planning reform.

Access to wildlife is seen as crucialAccess to wildlife is seen as crucial
Access to wildlife is seen as crucial

The Wildlife Trusts say the newly-named Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has a huge opportunity to ensure the planning system improves lives by levelling up access to nature.

The Wildlife Trusts are calling for:

A planning system which levels up people’s access to nature by setting a legally binding target so everyone, no matter where they live, can receive the benefits that nature provides. Evidence shows that almost half the population say they are spending more time outside than before the pandemic – but access to nature is deeply unequal and this exacerbates health inequalities, putting more strain on the NHS as it copes with the mental health crisis made worse by Covid.

The Planning Bill to ensure that we have more space for nature.

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And planning reforms that deliver the Government’s legally binding target in the

Environment Bill to halt species decline by 2030.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We know that time spent in beautiful, natural places boosts our health and wellbeing – the pandemic has shown us how important this is.