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Parents call on government to improve access to nature

by | 03 Apr 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News | 0 comments

New research reveals more than three-quarters of children want to spend more time in nature, a consensus backed by parents as they urge for improved access to nature.

The National Trust is calling on the government to make good on its promise for every person to be 15 minutes away from nature after its latest findings show nearly two-thirds (63%) of parents are only able to take their children to nature spaces once a week or less.

Parents participating in the survey, undertaken by the conservation charity, in partnership with children’s newspaper, First News, cited accessibility as the main barrier, while 31% of parents from lower-income households cited cost as the primary hurdle.

The survey, which was conducted with 1,000 youngsters between the ages of seven and 14, as well as more than 1,000 parents, found that over half (56%) of children wanted improved access to nature.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak pledged back in January 2023 that everyone would live no more than 15 minutes from a green or water space, a commitment backed by 80% of the parents participating in the study.

However, in December that year, the Guardian newspaper found that the government had shelved plans to meet this target.

Director general at the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, says: “The benefits of ensuring access to nature is plain to see but there is unequal access to it. We’d like to see the largest improvement in access to urban green space since the Victorian era.”

Current government data shows that 38% of people live more than a 15-minute walk from a green or blue space.

The trust says the survey was commissioned in an effort to show the disparity in access to green space compared to the public demand for it.

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