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“Urban green spaces are on the decline” says EFRA

by | 15 Mar 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News

In a letter addressed to the Environment Secretary, it was stated that urban green spaces were under “serious threat”, and little improvement had been made over the last seven years to halt their decline.

In the letter, penned by Sir Robert Goodwill MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee, urban green spaces were said to be on the decline, despite being “fundamentally important for improving mental and physical health, enhancing biodiversity, reducing pollution, mitigating flooding, tackling urban heat island effects and enabling access to nature.”

Their decline was in part accredited to insufficient local workforces, hampering the development of local strategies that could create green spaces.

Sir Goodwill called on the government to “set out its plans to tackle recruitment concerns that affect the green infrastructure sector.”

As well as recommending that, by 2025, the Government “works with industry and Natural England to create and regularly update a national repository of best practice and mapping/modelling systems to ensure that all local authorities are well equipped to upskill their staff and invest strategically and equitably in green spaces.”

Stating that a central government organisation responsible for green infrastructure is needed to “fly the flag for urban green spaces.”

Jennier Pheasey, director of public affairs at the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) comments on the letter, saying: “The HTA is delighted with the recommendations of the inquiry, which recognise the importance of growing our urban green spaces.

“The HTA has been urging politicians and policymakers to recognise the value of environmental horticulture for a long time now, not least because we deliver £28.8 billion in GDP and support 674,000 jobs in the UK.”

The full letter can be accessed here.

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