Almost a third of UK land to be protected for biodiversity

28th September 2020

Web english countryside istock 1027179192

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Biodiversity ,
  • Wildlife & Habitats ,
  • UK government



Prime minister Boris Johnson will today commit to protecting 30% of the UK's land by 2030 to support the recovery of biodiversity.

Protected areas already comprise around 26% of land in England, and this will now be increased by over 400,000 hectares, which is the size of the Lake District and South Downs national parks combined.

The announcement comes as the prime minister prepares to sign the 'Leaders Pledge for Nature' at a virtual UN event later today, committing to put “nature and biodiversity on a road to recovery“ by 2030.

Johnson will warn that countries must act now to reverse devastating biodiversity loss and prevent more species from being lost forever, following a 68% decline in global wildlife populations since 1970 alone.

“We must turn these words into action and use them to build momentum, to agree ambitious goals and binding targets,“ he will say.

“We cannot afford dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. Left unchecked, the consequences will be catastrophic for us all. Extinction is forever – so our action must be immediate.“

The Leaders Pledge for Nature commits world leaders to take 10 urgent actions, including on sustainable food production, ending the illegal wildlife trade and implementing nature-based solutions for climate change.

The government said it would work with the devolved administrations to agree an approach across the UK, and with landowners and civil society to explore how best to increase the size and value of protected land.

This comes on the same day that the Wildlife Trusts launched a public appeal to raise £30m to start putting nature into recovery across at least 30% of land and sea by 2030.

The 30 by 30 projects will include repairing peatland to lock-up carbon and help wildlife, beaver reintroduction and farmland bird recovery, and converting low-grade agricultural land into nature areas near homes.

“The next 10 years must be a time of renewal, of rewilding our lives, of green recovery,“ said Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts.

“We will buy land to expand and join-up our nature reserves; we'll work with others to show how to bring wildlife back to their land, and we're calling for nature's recovery through a new package of policy measures.“

Image credit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

The biophilic effect

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Born Free Foundation, co-founder Will Travers OBE tells Chris Seekings how a new approach to conservation is needed to end animal suffering

1st February 2024

Read more

Ajirioghene Samuel looks at some exciting tree-planting initiatives, offering nature-based solutions to climate change impacts

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close