Nature Conservation: Voluntary Work

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9 June 2023.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions her Department has had with wildlife trusts to help support engaging with nature through volunteering.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Our aim is for more people, from all backgrounds, to engage with and spend time in green and blue spaces in their everyday lives. We recognise the important role that volunteers play in protecting and enhancing the natural environment. The Landscapes Review has proposed expanding volunteering in our protected landscapes, and we fully support this initiative.

We are actively exploring various avenues to support and promote volunteer engagement in nature conservation. For example, through our Access For All programme, we are facilitating the purchase of specialist equipment that enables volunteers of all abilities to take part in conservation activities. This not only helps protect and enhance the natural environment but also contributes to the volunteers' mental and physical well-being. The Wildlife Trusts are a key member of our Access and Engagement Forum, where we discuss the progress and development of this programme amongst others.

We remain committed to collaborating with a wide range of organisations, including wildlife trusts, to encourage and facilitate volunteering opportunities in the natural world.

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