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Children: Countryside

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL342, tabled on 18 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all children, not only those at a crisis point, have access to nature.

Answered on

2 June 2021

Defra recognises the crucial importance of having good access to green spaces for health and well-being. The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural landscapes in England for the next generation, and to helping people improve their health and wellbeing by connecting with nature.

There are a wide range of initiatives within Defra which will help to increase access to green spaces across the whole of England. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trees for Climate programme
  • Green Recovery Challenge Fund
  • Green Social Prescribing Project
  • Engagement with Protected Landscapes to improve access
  • Nature for Climate Fund
  • National Framework of Green Infrastructure Standards
  • Development of the England Coast Path and a new coast to coast National Trail in the north of England

On access to nature for children specifically:

  • The Children and Nature Programme, managed jointly by Defra, Natural England, and Department for Education, aims to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments.
  • Generation Green, a project funded through the first round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. It is a 16-month project, in partnership with the 10 English National Parks, that aims to provide more than 100,000 progressive opportunities to connect young people to nature, prioritising young people from BAME groups, disadvantaged backgrounds and coastal communities. It also aims to create and save jobs and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.