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Everyone will live within 15 minutes’ walk of a green space or water under new government plans to restore nature. – from the BBC

Habitat for wildlife will be expanded and there will be 25 new or enlarged national nature reserves. More money will go to protecting rare wildlife, such as hedgehogs and red squirrels. The “blueprint” sets out how ministers intend to clean up air and water, boost nature and reduce waste over the next five years in England.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said protecting the natural environment was fundamental to the health, economy and prosperity of the country. “This plan provides the blueprint for how we deliver our commitment to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, making sure we drive forward progress with renewed ambition and achieve our target of not just halting, but reversing the decline of nature,” he said. The definition of “green space” in the UK includes any land with vegetation on it – it could be a playing field, a disused railway line or an allotment.  World Wildlife Fund production policy head Alec Taylor said: “Access to green space is without doubt vital – but when that space is polluted or devoid of nature, it doesn’t mean much.”

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