The UK government has today (Wednesday, November 29) announced a new climate change package of initiatives, which puts “nature at the forefront” of its efforts.

The new package of measures, announced by Environment Secretary Steve Barclay, includes launching a search for a new National Park, 34 new landscape recovery projects, new forests and funding to help more children get outdoors.

The government said the search for a new National Park will begin in the new year and that new Landscape Recovery projects will cover 200,000ha of land including sustainable food production.

The government also committed £2.5 million to help children experience the “benefits of the great outdoors”.

The nature measures come ahead of COP28 which will kick off in Dubai this week from November 30 until December 12, 2023.

Further measures announced include:

  • A new plan to recover England’s temperate rainforests;
  • A competition to create a new National Forest;
  • Two additional community forests.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I shared in the nation’s profound sense of anger in response to what happened at the Sycamore Gap earlier this year, but the public’s outrage fundamentally demonstrated just how much love the British people have for the natural world. 

“From Yorkshire’s historic rolling moors to ancient rainforest on the Cornish coast, we are home to many globally significant landscapes.

“We must do all it takes to protect these much-loved spaces and ensure that love for the natural world continues into the next generations.

“As I head to COP28, we are reasserting the UK’s leading role in promoting our iconic landscapes and keeping nature at the centre of our action to tackle climate change.”

Food production

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said nature is “at the foundation” of food production, water security, and is critical to economy and physical health.

“It is why it is so important to deliver on our commitment to halt the decline of nature and safeguard at least 30% of our extraordinary landscapes,” he said. 

“Through our Environmental Improvement Plan and today’s announcement, we are creating more opportunities for people to access nature, spend time outdoors and enjoy our beautiful countryside – as well as supporting wildlife.

“A healthy natural environment is critical for our wellbeing, our economy and combatting climate change.”