We have a new UK Government – here’s the top five actions they need to take for nature to recover and thrive

The results are in and we have a new Labour UK Government, led by Keir Starmer. Our new Government is responsible for making sure that we meet legal commitments to halt the loss of wildlife and protect 30% of our lands and seas by 2030. That’s just six years away. During the election campaign Labour committed to meet the targets if elected. So here are the five key actions the new Government must urgently take to protect and restore our natural world.

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Sunrise over a landscape of crops and grass.
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Top five actions we need to see for nature

1. More and better funding for nature-friendly farming
Around 70% of UK land is farmed. For nature to recover it must be at the heart of how that land is managed. Farming with nature is a win, win. It keeps our soils healthy, water clean and increases pollinators such as bees on which much of our food production relies. We need the UK Government to commit to increasing funding to support the switch to nature-friendly farming.

A Red tractor at work on RSPB Hope Farm.

2. Improve and expand the protected space for nature
The UK Government is committed to protecting 30% of our land and seas for nature by 2030. At the moment we’re way off this target. We must see urgent action to restore and better manage our current protected sites, while increasing their size and number. These protected lands and seas can then become real havens for wildlife to recover and thrive.   

A woodland scene at RSPB Franchises Lodge.

3. Planning with nature at its heart for our economy to thrive
Restoring nature is vital for a thriving economy and our health and wellbeing. The new UK Government must put nature at the heart of any planning reforms it brings forward. If they do, we can ensure nature’s recovery and the achievement of Net Zero at the same time as building homes and delivering renewable energy. This means directing investment and infrastructure to locations away from our most important places for wildlife. And building wildlife in from the start, whether that’s Swift bricks and Hedgehog highways in new homes, or wildlife-rich hedgerows around solar farms.

Two People smiling while installing the Swift brick into the gable end of the house

4. Take urgent action to save our struggling seabirds
Our seabirds are really struggling because of the impacts of a changing climate, industrial fishing and large-scale development along our coasts and at sea. They’ve declined 62% within the UK in the last 20 years. The new UK Government must urgently take action to fill the gaps in our network of marine protected areas and make sure they are well managed. A good start would be to designate the waters surrounding Lundy Island in the Bristol channel as a Special Protected Area to protect our seabirds, including the Balearic Shearwater, the UK’s only globally Critically Endangered bird. The new government must also defend the closure of sandeel fisheries to protect our seabirds, in particular Kittiwakes and Puffins in the North Sea.  

A Balearic Shearwater about to land on water.

5. Restore the UK as a nature leader on the global stage
It’s time for us to step up as world leaders on nature. The new Prime Minister should lead the way at vital UN climate and nature summits this year, giving a clear signal that the UK is determined to play its role in the recovery of our natural world. The UK should also launch a bid to host a future UN ‘Nature Summit’ - COP17 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 

Game changer for our wildlife 

If the UK Government and Parliament take these five actions and we manage to hit the targets of halting the loss of our wildlife and protecting and managing 30% of our land and seas for nature by 2030, it will be a game-changer for nature. 

It would transform the future for our precious wildlife which has for too long been in a spiral of decline. It would protect and increase the wonderful wild places in our towns and cities, our countryside and seas, preventing them from becoming degraded or destroyed. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. But if the new Westminster Government takes urgent action to deliver on the UK’s commitments, we could see the beginnings of a revival that could mean more birdsong, more bees, more butterflies. More of the wildlife we love.   

A Puffin stood on the ground with a beak full of sandeels.

All MPs have a part to play 

The General Election saw many new MPs elected across the UK. Whatever party they belong to, in Government or Opposition, they can play a key part in the recovery of nature by calling for the funding and policies needed to deliver it. Now the election is over we can all help make sure the new UK Government and all MPs know that protecting our natural world for our wildlife, and for us, must be a priority.

Let’s keep nature on the agenda 

In the run up to the UK General Election thousands of you and hundreds of other organisations joined us in making sure nature had a voice. Whether you took to the streets with us on the Restore Nature Now march, contacted your local candidates or spoke up for nature in a different way, you did something amazing for our wildlife and wild spaces at this crucial time. 

Now we must keep the pressure on. We need to keep nature on the agenda and make it crystal clear that failing to revive our natural world in a way that works for people and the planet is not an option. It must be now. Nature can’t wait any longer.  This is the UK Government that must act. 

Giant Avocet puppet in front of Big Ben at a rally.

Join us as a campaigner  

This is where passionate people like you come in! Join us as a campaigner and help us speak up and shout out for a brighter, thriving future for the wildlife you love. You’ll get guidance and support and be the first to know about opportunities to take action online and in your community.   
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