In 2020 Link called for a green recovery from Covid-19 and proposed a National Nature Service to provide new jobs and improve public health, whilst tackling the climate and ecological emergencies.
In May 2020, during the first Covid-19 lockdown, a group of volunteers came to develop an idea put forward by campaigner Beth Thoren – that a National Nature Service should be set up to provide environmental jobs for those who needed them, contributing to a Green Recovery from Covid-19 and helping nature and people alike.
Over the course of 2020 the volunteers working on the NNS proposals, supported by Wildlife and Countryside Link, developed and presented the proposals. Key moments in the campaign included:
• A letter sent to the Chancellor setting out the case for the NNS. The letter was signed by over sixty organisations and individuals, including creatives, youth groups, nature charities and councils.
• The publication of a detailed briefing, setting out a National Nature Service could work and contribute to a Green Recovery from Covid-19.
• The commissioning of a Yougov poll, which found that 83% of the public support proposals for the Government to fund new jobs in nature.
We are very grateful to everyone who backed the campaign, including the 9,000 people who signed the petition in support of it. The recommendation for a National Nature Service is now being implemented across UK nations, through a number of different initiatives including a National Nature Service for Wales, a Land and Nature Skills Service in Cumbria, and a Youth Environmental Service.
A number of other papers from 2020 can be found below, all making the case for investment in nature to help people through a period of crisis.
Membership of Wildlife and Countryside Link is open to national and international voluntary or other non-profit organisations based in England. Member organisations must be able to demonstrate an interest in furthering the work of Link, and their aims must include the protection of wildlife, landscape and the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Individual members of the public are not eligible to join Link, but may be interested in joining one of Link's member organisations.