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THE ENVIRONMENT: WHO CARES?

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New research shows the greatest threat to green spaces is seen to be the ...
New research shows the greatest threat to green spaces is seen to be the

public themselves, and not local planners, politicians or pollution.

A MORI survey commissioned by the New Opportunities Fund, revealed that the

greatest threats to green spaces are believed to be from crime and vandalism

(68%) and people's lack of concern, care or interest (42%). Both were seen

as far bigger concerns than traffic pollution and global warming.

The survey also revealed a social class divide with regard to 'green'

issues. Public concern was shown to reflect people's socio-economic status:

if you are professional and middle class you are more likely to be

environmentally aware and more likely, or able, to take action.

There is a distinct lack of green activity undertaken by the younger

generation. Despite being future guardians of the planet, 15-24 year olds

are less likely to purchase environmentally friendly products than older age

groups and 39% of them don't have time to be green. 15-24 year olds are also

less motivated to 'do their bit' for the environment - one million (15%)

think one person can't make a difference.

Although the majority of people are motivated to be greener by 'doing their

bit' for the environment (54%) or protecting their health (40%), a third of

the UK population (33%) are motivated by saving money. This figure

increases to 44% in the 15-24 age group.

However, 50% of the population cite lack of amenities as the main barrier to

recycling or being more environmentally friendly. One in five say that the

financial cost prevents them from doing more.

Baroness Pitkeathley, chair of the New Opportunities Fund, said: 'The

research highlights key areas of public concern which we are tackling by

targeting National Lottery money at grass roots projects. Involving

communities in improving their environment is a positive step and can help

prevent crime'.

A Green Fair is being held in central London tomorrow to

highlight how National Lottery money is being used to set up schemes,

including those addressing crime and vandalism and apathy, within urban and

rural communities. The Fund has allocated£125m for such schemes.

The fair will include a keynote debate on the findings of the research and

wider environmental issues. The debate will be hosted by Baroness

Pitkeathley and feature a distinguished panel including

environment minister Michael Meacher, Bill Oddie, Tony

Hawkhead of Groundwork, Simon Williams of The Co-operative Bank, Sarah

Betteridge of Shell Better Britain Campaign and Judy Ling Wong, of the

Black Environment Network.

Other points of interest from the survey include:

* 30% more people in the AB socio economic group recycle their

household waste than in the DE group

* Nearly a quarter of the DE group (24%) cited financial cost as a

barrier to their green activity

* 27% of respondents felt that a lack of time prevented them doing

more

* 1 in five people (21%) claim their local recycling facilities are

not easy to get to

* Local green spaces is a bigger issue for more affluent social

groups, 18% for ABs compared with 7% of DEs

* Generally speaking the older generation (45-54) are far more

inclined to be green than those in the younger (15-24) age group

Case Studies:

Name: Recycling Ollerton and Boughton -£96,234

Where: Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

What: Kerbside collection of recyclable materials

How: The project is the development from a pilot scheme which will

collect recyclable materials from households, schools and businesses. The

project will work with local partners to provide employment and social

opportunities for the long-term unemployed and people with learning

difficulties. The project has been recognised by the local community as

vital to the regeneration of the area.

Name: Hubberstone Community Recreational Area -£24,876

Where: Pembrokeshire

What: Community Garden creation

How: An existing area that was used for fly tipping will be turned into a

community garden. The garden will include a sports area and a playground by

the Hubberstone Community Association. The community has supported the

scheme and it is hoped it will help reduce vandalism as well as petty crime.

Notes

* MORI interviewed a representative sample of 957 adults aged 15+ in

188 sampling points across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted

face-to-face between 23-28 May 2002. Data are weighted to the known

national profile

* The Green Fair is taking place on Wednesday 19 June 2002 at One

Great George Street, London, 10.30am - 14.30pm

* The Green Spaces and Sustainable Communities programme (GSSC)

provides funding to projects designed to help urban and rural communities

throughout the UK understand, improve or care for their natural environment,

focusing on disadvantage

* The Fund has appointed 11 Award Partners to distribute the funding.

They are:

BTCV - People's Places

Barnardo's - Better Play

Countryside Agency - Doorstep Green

English Nature - Wildspace!

Sustrans - Green Routes, Safe Routes

Sport England - Playing Fields and Community Green Spaces

RSNC - SEED

Northern Ireland/Creating Common Ground Consortium - Creating Common

Ground

Wales Council for Voluntary Action - Enfys

Forward Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage - Fresh Futures

Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise - The

Scottish Land Fund

* The New Opportunities Fund is the largest National Lottery

distributor created in 1998 to award grants to health, education and

environment projects across the UK

* The survey was conducted by MORI on behalf of the New Opportunities

Fund. The questions were asked of a nationally representative sample of

adults (957) aged 15+ in 188 sampling points across Great Britain.

Interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home between 23-28 May 2002

* Socio Economic Classifications:

* A, upper middle - higher managerial, administrative or

professional

* B, middle - intermediate managerial, administrative or

professional

* C1, lower middle - supervisory or clerical,junior

managerial, administrative or professional

* C2, skilled working - skilled manual workers

* D, working - semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers

* E, lowest level of subsistence - state pensioners, widows,

casual or lowest grade workers

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