When asked to think about "a favourite outside space", many people think of trees and water, showing our strong sense of being connected to nature. And most of us value and enjoy the green spaces that we have around our homes.
Does it matter?
What can I do?
Gardens, parks and other green spaces are where many of us encounter nature.
Trees, flowers, birds, butterflies and bees are found in most gardens and parks, along with many other plants and animals.
These are both beautiful to look at and important to the health of our planet and the delicate balance that keeps the water, soil and air clean and productive.
Losing green spaces and the animals and plants that live there, might seem unfortunate, but does it really matter?,
Yes, it does, not only because most of us value our natural surroundings (and studies have shown that green spaces are good for our mental health), but also for the wider health of the planet, on which we depend.
Many species of plants and animals provide food, resources such as medicines (such as aspirin, from willow) and building materials (like wood). They also help maintain the oxygen levels in our air, regulate temperatures and maintain soil health and trap water to reduce run-off and prevent flooding.
The loss of species and habitats across the world is at a critical level, where many iconic species are close to extinction, like the Giant Panda, Sumatran Tiger and the Amur Leopard.
Closer to home, bees, important pollinators, are struggling, while farm birds are in decline and our native wildflowers are in need of support to help reduce their loss.
Pesticides, herbicides and the effect of excess fertilisers on our waterways are also posing challenges to many insects and other invertebrates, which are in turn food for larger species like birds and mammals.
Changes in our climate are also upsetting the balance of nature, as they are affecting food availability and impacting on species designed for hot, cold, wet or dry conditions.
If you have a garden making it wildlife friendly, can make a bid difference to wildlife in your area. Bee and butterfly friendly plants, bird feeders, log piles for insects and if you have space a small pond can all help to support wildlife.
Even a few pots with bee and butterfly friendly flowers can make a difference.
When buying food and other products try to find ones that are produced in an environmentally friendly way.
And joining a local group to plant trees or help look after a local green space can be enjoyable, as well as helping the planet.
Supporting organisations that help to look after wildlife, habitats and the indigenous peoples that live in some of our unspoilt natural places can help to look after our planet for future generations.