New research reveals huge public support for putting nature at the heart of Coronavirus recovery plans

Rupert Masefield

Wednesday 10 June 2020

RSPB calls on England's City and Metro Mayors to listen to the people and lead a green recovery from Covid-19, as new survey shows overwhelming public support for protecting and investing in nature

New figures released by the RSPB reveal

  • Strong public opposition to Government reducing spending on nature or putting less emphasis on protecting nature;

  • People see access to nature as important for health and wellbeing during and in recovery from the Coronavirus crisis;

  • Potential inequalities in access to nature between high and low-income households, and between people in urban and rural areas;

  • 4 out of 5 people in England (84%) support the suggestion that Government should increase the number of accessible nature-rich areas in the UK

  • 4 out of 5 people in England (80%) oppose the idea of Government reducing spending on nature;

  • 3 out of 4 people in England (76%) support the suggestion that nature could contribute to economic recovery in the UK.

The RSPB has written to England’s City and Metro Mayors asking them to listen to the people and build back better by putting nature at the heart of their recovery plans.

Read our letter to Mayors


The results of the survey are striking in the sheer level of public agreement about the importance of nature, not only in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown, but as we look forward and plan for our recovery from this crisis. Mayors have a chance to dramatically improve people’s health and wellbeing and the resilience of communities by supporting and prioritising measures that increase nature and natural greenspace at the same time as creating jobs and investment, and stimulating the economy.

Emma Marsh, Director, RSPB England

The numbers that show inequality in access to nature:

The survey results suggest UK households with an annual income under £10,000 are 3.6 times more likely to have no outdoor space where they live, and about 40% less likely to live within a 10-minute walk of any publicly accessible natural greenspace, than people with a household income of £60,000 or more.

[Calculations by the RSPB]

Income and outdoor space


Last Updated: Wednesday 1 July 2020

YouGov poll

Recovering together: A report of public opinion on the role and importance of nature during and in our recovery from the Coronavirus crisis in England.
Tagged with: Country: England Topic: The RSPB's positions Topic: Green issues Topic: Health Topic: People Topic: Planning and economics