Calling for nature’s restoration with the Environment Bill
We need a legally binding target to reverse the declines and avert the catastrophic impacts of widespread nature loss.
Credit: Robert Read / WTML
Our natural world is being depleted at an alarming rate. The Environment Bill is a vital opportunity to help save it. It’s the most significant piece of environmental legislation for years, and the route to the legally binding targets we desperately need to reverse nature's decline.
What's the problem?
Loud and clear warning signs are sounding throughout nature. Declines in woodland wildlife and nature are following a trend seen across the whole of the natural world.
Our landmark report on the State of UK Woods and Trees brings into focus the many and compounding threats facing our woods and trees. Read the key findings and stats at a glance.
Eye opening trends include the steep decline of woodland butterflies like white admiral, heath and pearl-bordered fritillaries. Marsh tit numbers have declined 70% since 1970.
What is the Environment Bill and how can it help?
The Environment Bill addresses environmental protection and the delivery of the Westminster Government's 25 year environment plan following Brexit. It is English legislation but will have far-reaching impacts and set a precedent for similar bills that will likely follow elsewhere in the UK.
It aims to create a cleaner, greener, more resilient country for the next generation. But it is missing any legally binding targets and must be strengthened.
After a lengthy delay, this new legislation for our natural world is now expected to pass into law in autumn 2021.
Why we need a target
A target for nature in the Environment Bill would create a new driving force to take action for our trees and woods, peat bogs, meadows, rivers and more. The Prime Minister has said on the international stage that he will halt the decline of nature by 2030. Now we must put that promise into domestic law.
We want to see commitment to a nationwide effort to recover nature as a whole, including:
- enhancing and protecting our existing woods
- expanding wood and tree cover
- increasing investment in nature.
200,000 join the call to put nature’s recovery into law
Strengthening legislation and obliging Government to reverse the downward trends will create a brighter future for people and wildlife. We cannot allow nature to decline further. It will never recover by chance.
We’re working with more than 65 other charities to improve the bill before it becomes law. To achieve the change, we must convince the Prime Minister to support a new amendment.
That’s why we’re so grateful to the 200,000 people who have joined us in pressing Boris Johnson to include legally binding targets in the Environment Bill and stop the decline of nature by 2030.
On 18 May, the Government announced it would amend the Environment Bill to include a legally binding target for recovering species by 2030. But on 9 June it published an amendment that failed to set a deadline for halting declines. This shows our campaigning is working, but there is still more to do.
The petition was handed to Government on 7 July, but our campaigning won’t end there. We’ll be sharing our next intervention and how you can take action soon.