Mayor must put nature at the heart of coronavirus recovery plans, says RSPB

The RSPB have called out city and metro mayors across England, including James Palmer, to put nature

The RSPB have called out city and metro mayors across England, including James Palmer, to put nature at the forefront of their coronavirus recovery plans. Pictures: RSPB - Credit: Archant

The UK’s largest nature conservation charity has called on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) to put nature at the forefront of their recovery plans from the coronavirus lockdown.

The RSPB has written to England’s eight other city and metro mayors, including James Palmer of CAPCA, asking him to lead a “green recovery” from COVID-19 following a YouGov poll.

In that poll, it revealed that nature and access to greenspace was important to people’s health and wellbeing since the coronavirus pandemic began, as well as the difference in access to nature between the highest and lowest income households.

Emma Marsh, director of RSPB England said: “The results of the survey are striking in the sheer level of public agreement about the importance of nature, not only in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown, but as we look forward and plan for our recovery from this crisis.

“They also highlight the inequality that exists in people’s access to nature, with the least well-off also the most deprived of nature where they live.”

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Figures from the RSPB’s appeal showed four out of five people in England support the idea that the Government should increase the number of accessible nature-rich areas in the UK, while three quarters felt nature could contribute to the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The survey results also suggest UK households with an annual income of under £10,000 are 3.6 times more likely to have no outdoor space where they live.

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Ms Marsh said Mayor Palmer has an important role to play in leading the county out of the lockdown and hopes he will be able to use nature as a key aspect in his recovery plans.

She said: “Mayor Palmer has a key role to play in leading the recovery from coronavirus in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“He has a chance to dramatically improve people’s health and wellbeing and the resilience of communities by supporting and prioritising measures that increase nature and natural greenspace at the same time as creating jobs, investment and stimulating the economy.

“I hope we will be able to work together with the mayor and the rest of CAPCA to identify some of the initiatives that will help deliver an equitable and environmentally sustainable economic recovery from coronavirus.”

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