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RSPB research – huge public support for putting nature at the heart of Covid-19 recovery

By 9 July 2020June 13th, 2022No Comments

Research published by RSPB reveals how highly the public values nature’s role in the Covid-19 crisis recovery. The research was carried out in May by YouGov on behalf of RSPB with a sample size of 2,155. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18 plus).

The research makes compelling reading from the organic perspective, as organic farming works in alignment with nature, using few pesticides and creating environments where nature thrives.

Nature and Government Policy
The study made interesting reading in terms of Government policy and nature:

  • 84% of people in England support the suggestion that Government should increase the number of accessible nature-rich areas in the UK

  • 80% oppose the idea of Government reducing spending on nature

  • 75% support the suggestion that nature could contribute to the economic recovery in the UK

Nature and Recovery
The findings from the survey also highlighted the importance of connecting with nature for our recovery and general health and wellbeing:

  • 87% agreed that living close(r) to spaces that are rich in wildlife and nature is/would be an advantage during the Covid-19 outbreak

  • 89% agreed increasing the amount of accessible nature-rich green space will help to improve people’s general health, well-being and happiness

  • 79% agreed the Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for more accessible nature-rich green space near people’s households.

Connecting with Nature during the Covid-19 crisis
This part of the survey demonstrates how much the public has valued nature during the lockdown:

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  • 74% of respondents in England agreed that they had noticed more nature in their neighbourhoods, than they would normally at this time of year

  • 71% agreed that time spent in/surrounded by nature has been more important to them since the onset of the crisis.

  • 76% agreed that nature had been an important source of comfort/relief for them

  • 77% agreed that visiting nature has been important for their general health and happiness

Protecting and restoring nature
Overwhelmingly, respondents see nature as an integral part of economic recovery and want nature protected and restored:

  • 81% agreed that the Covid-19 outbreak has shown the importance of protecting and restoring nature

  • 70% of respondents supported the suggestion that rapid economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of protecting nature

  • 76% supported the suggestion that nature could contribute to economic recovery in the UK (eg by reducing the risk of other economic challenges such as flooding, protecting water supplies, promoting local tourism etc)

  • 75% of people supported the suggestion that protecting and increasing the amount of nature-rich spaces in the future will help to improve the UK’s general resilience to future national pandemics/outbreaks.

The RSPB has called on England’s City and Metro Mayors to lead a green recovery from Covid-19. They have written to them in a letter asking them to listen to the people and put nature at the heart of recovery plans.

The full report can be read here.