Legally binding targets to protect the environment have been set out by Defra, including increasing woodland cover to 16.5% of total land area in England by 2050.
Thirteen targets to clean up air, rivers and boost nature have been published following a consultation which gathered 18,000 responses from individuals, businesses and organisations.
Defra said the targets, published after a six-week delay, would drive forward action to tackle climate change, restore natural capital and protect landscapes and green spaces.
An Environmental Improvement Plan will be published in January 2023 setting out in more detail how the targets will be achieved.
The targets require a halt in the decline in species populations by 2030, and then increase populations by at least 10% to exceed current levels by 2042.
Another goal seeks to restore precious water bodies to their natural state by cracking down on harmful pollution from sewers and abandoned mines and improving water usage in households.
The government will also commit to deliver net zero ambitions and boost nature recovery by increasing tree and woodland cover to 16.5% of total land area in England by 2050.
Farming groups have continuously warned that woodland expansion must not infringe on farmers' ability to produce food.
NFU Cymru President John Davies said farmers were 'strongly resistant' to the planting of trees on prime farmland, and the loss of farms for complete afforestation was 'highly emotive'.
"With the right incentives, however, many farmers are enthusiastic about increasing tree cover at an appropriate scale on what they would identify as less productive areas of the farm," he added.
“Future schemes should reward farmers to plant hedges, shelterbelts, gullies and field corners; allow farmers to establish woodland at field scale on land they identify as of low agricultural and habitat value and provide an economic return to farmers.”
Other targets set out by Defra include cutting the exposure to the most harmful air pollutant to human health – PM2.5.
Announcing the goals, Defra Secretary Thérèse Coffey said the government was "committed to leaving the natural world in a better state for future generations".
“These targets are ambitious and will be challenging to achieve – but they will drive our efforts to restore our natural environment, protect our much-loved landscapes and green spaces and marine environment, as well as help tackle climate change.”
Marian Spain, chief executive of Natural England, added: “We welcome today’s publication of the statutory targets needed to put nature recovery at the heart of the government’s priorities.
"With the first targets only eight years away, we are already working with the government and with businesses, land managers and environmental charities through the Nature Recovery Network Partnership to ensure that we are on track."