Young people say the environment is a top priority when it comes to voting


Two thirds of young people say that the environment is a top voting priority for them, polling shows.

And almost 90% agree it is important in general for politicians to take care of wildlife and the environment.

The findings, taken from a survey of 1,000 people of all ages by CensusWide, come as a report written by young environmental campaigners calls on the Government to take a series of steps to ensure nature is flourishing by 2050 and beyond.

Young people want the Government to do more to protect our natural spots.

Based on contributions from hundreds of youngsters around the UK, the report was written by the group A Focus on Nature and urges ministers to bring out a long-term plan for nature to maintain the natural world for generations.

Here are some of the key things it calls for:

1. The "rewilding" and the reintroduction of extinct native species such as beavers and lynxes at suitable locations in the UK.

The lynx vanished from the UK around 1,300 years ago.

2. All tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels in the UK should be redirected to renewables, all agricultural subsidies should incentivise wildlife-friendly farming.

3. A quarter of the country's land and seas should be managed for nature.

4. A fifth of primary school lesson time spent outdoors in quality green space, and half that time spent learning about nature.

Who doesn't love a lesson in the great outdoors?

5. A programme between Government and other organisations should create 10 city national parks across the UK and develop urban nature reserves and wildlife gardens in the country's most deprived communities.

The report has even been backed by Sir David Attenborough, who said: "None of us own the natural world. We only hold it in trust for the next generation.

"It is cause for hope that, as this report shows, so many of those who inherit it feel the same."

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the 643 people surveyed said environmental policies were more important than policies on transport and half said they were more important than measures on immigration. Some 59% said environment policies were as important as those on healthcare.

Some areas of natural beauty are in need of protection.

Matt Williams, associate director of A Focus on Nature and senior editor of the report, said: "We're lucky to have so much wonderful wildlife and amazing places in the UK but study after study has shown that we're losing nature at a faster rate than at any other time in recent history.

"As young people, we will be affected far more by the future impacts of the loss of wildlife than older generations.

"We started work on this report two years ago. The fact that we've voted to leave the EU since then only makes it more important than ever that we have an ambitious vision for helping wildlife in our country."