19 July 2021

Public call on councils to do more to protect the natural environment

Public call on councils to do more to protect the natural environment image

Only a third of the UK public think local government is doing enough to protect and enhance the natural environment, a report has revealed today.

The report, published by think tank Blue Bright, explores the public's attitude towards the value of the natural environment and the responsibility and actions of different actors for its protection and enhancement.

It found the public marginally prefers the use of ‘sticks’ over ‘carrots’ in terms of government policies to protect nature.

Just over half of the public (53%) would support new development on the Green Belt provided the developers are required to materially improve the natural environment. This increases to 67% among those aged 18 to 34.

Patrick Hall, senior research fellow at Bright Blue and report author, said: 'The public strongly supports the Government’s current policies to protect and restore the natural environment. However, the public expect to see the Government, and its agencies, taking a higher level of responsibility than currently to conserve nature.

'The public marginally favours more interventionist policies for the protection of the natural environment over those which are financially incentivising. The public want to see higher fines for littering, minimum product standards, mandatory product labelling, and bans on non-recyclable black plastic and non-flushable wet wipes.'

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