Think tank: Bright Blue
Author(s): Patrick Hall
July 19, 2021
This report from UK think tank Bright Blue looks at public attitudes towards the natural environment.
Whilst the natural environment may not be relatively high on the UK public’s list of policy priorities, this report has nonetheless demonstrated that the majority of the UK public engages with the natural environment, frequenting it regularly and widely recognising its associated benefits. The UK public sees government agencies and national government as those who should be most responsible for the protection and enhancement of the natural environment. In the face of biodiversity decline, occurring both in the UK and globally, national government has a mandate to go further and faster to protect and enhance the natural environment. The Government can take solace in the fact that its policy agenda towards the natural environment is well received by the UK public. When devising further policies which to protect and enhance the natural environment, policymakers should consider that the UK public marginally favours ‘sticks’ over ‘carrots’. But responsibility for the protection and enhancement of the natural environment does not solely lie with government – all of us have a role to play.
This report shows that the UK public recognises individuals themselves will have to adopt a number of behavioural changes to reduce their impact on the natural environment, and many already have. The UK public’s conservationism is predominantly local: adults want to see material improvements to the natural environment closer to home. With the insights from this report, the UK Government ought to be able to build upon its popular agenda for the necessary protection and enhancement of the natural environment.