Covid-19 has shown how connected our society and economy are to the natural world – when the natural world suffers, we suffer in turn. At this critical turning point in all our lives, we need to recognise the entwined futures of climate, nature and us – and take action to safeguard that future.
Link is contributing to the environment sector’s development of detailed plans for a green recovery, to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies whilst providing new jobs and improving public health. The particular expertise of Link members has been called upon to set out the central role that nature can play in a green recovery and to develop the following policy contributions:
Shovel-ready nature projects compendium
Working with our members, we have identified over 300 individual nature projects – from new saltmarshes to restored woodlands – that would enhance 200,000 hectares of natural habitat, provide better access to nature for hundreds of communities, create thousands of jobs and lock away millions of tonnes of carbon. Crucially, the amount of investment required is small, compared to the public benefits unlocked by the projects.
National Nature Service
This new scheme would employ and train up thousands of people in environmental work across the UK, from habitat creation to controlling invasive species. As well as replenishing our natural resources, the new service would provide employment, particularly for young people and disadvantaged communities in both urban and rural areas, as well as providing new practical skills and training opportunities. The NNS could help deliver the shovel ready nature projects we have identified and leave a legacy of more nature-connected communities, with the infrastructure and appetite for community action. More information, and a declaration to sign in support of the scheme, can be found on the National Nature service website here.
Link will continue to propose these policies to decision makers and is supporting #TheTimeIsNow virtual lobby of Parliament on 30 June, calling for a green recovery.
You can read more about Link’s wider thoughts on a green recovery here.
Link CEO Dr Richard Benwell was interviewed by BBC Countryfile about a green recovery on 21 June – you can find the episode here.
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.