The National Trust is today (1 May) urging the Government to ensure its recovery plans support a greener economy, don’t sacrifice environmental progress and ensure more people have better access to nature-rich green space.
Writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, the National Trust’s Director-General Hilary McGrady said: “As the country starts to look beyond the immediate crisis, we need the sort of forward-thinking we showed after the second world war when the National Health Service, National Parks and a planning system to protect green space were created. The nation’s attention is rightly on dealing with the immediate and profound shock of Covid-19 to health, social fabric and livelihoods. But governments around the world are turning their thoughts to recovery. We must learn from the last financial crisis and opt for renewal over mere recovery. Anything else would fail a nation whose citizens have shown that their collaboration and collective action can defeat individualism, on a colossal scale. Delivering green infrastructure will create new jobs and makes economic sense – and there have been encouraging signs from Government"
The Director-General also urged ministers to push forwards to grasp the opportunity for the creation of ‘green’ jobs through retro-fitting and scaling renewables, and transport solutions that deliver air quality and carbon reduction, rather than opting for a recovery based on more concrete and steel. She concluded: “Our towns and cities can’t take any more destruction of habitat and biodiversity. We must grow back in green, not grey. The nation must also have fresh air and green space. Equal access to nature and fresh air is what the founders of the National Trust set out to achieve 125 years ago. It remains worth fighting for, today and always.”