Local economies

Local places are critical to recovering nature across the UK

A visitor walking on Haweswater nature trail, a gravel path with an expansive view across the lake and valley
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Westminster politicians aren’t the only ones charged with tackling the nature and climate crises. Local leaders also have a responsibility to restore and protect the environment for future generations.

A focus on place

Nature’s recovery depends upon reconnecting fragmented habitats and reconnecting people to the natural world and to the landscapes they live in. It’s often at the local level that people benefit from – and impact on – nature. Focusing on nature and local economies is a crucial way to advocate for change and provides opportunities to build support, particularly from communities who might otherwise be overlooked. 

Nature Positive places

Through our Valuing Nature Plan, we are working across the UK to identify initiatives which put nature at the core of local economies. We are sharing learning and providing local governments, businesses and communities with the tools to move towards a nature-positive world. This will not only support local decision-makers to deliver more benefits from their spending on nature but also help show the impact of local action. 

RSPB reserves and local economies

Our work shows the important impact our nature reserves have upon local economies as well as the health, educational and wellbeing benefits they offer for visitors. The RSPB has contributed to a growing body of evidence showing land managed with nature conservation at its core can form an integral part of sustainable local and regional economic growth. 

A view of Boomacre Mere at Minsmere surrounded by reedbeds and pink flowers.

RSPB Minsmere 

Every local community should have a Minsmere. The reserve attracts over 80,000 visitors a year, who spend an estimated £8 million locally, supporting 66 local jobs. In total, Minsmere reserve supports more than 100 jobs in surrounding communities. In addition to giving nature a home and offering visitors the chance to connect with nature, the reserve is crucial to the local economy. 

Conservation and local employment 

This report explores the benefits RSPB nature reserves and other conservation work have for local economies across the UK.  

Read The Report

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