This essay explores the diverse forms of social engagement with nature, against the background of cultural identity. Cultural identity, used here as an umbrella term for the connections people feel with their environment, is a factor in the local nature conservation initiatives taken by people and businesses. Conversely, for some groups in society the landscape can represent a cultural identity with which they have no affinity at all. The report is based on a literature study and aims to contribute tothe public debate on the objectives of nature policy. This is illustrated by a few examples of innovative forms of public engagement with nature. A broad public debate that emphasises engagement with nature (whatever idea of nature that might be) and respect for everyone’s opinions is essential, not only to ensure that nature policy commands widespread support, but also to inspire cultural identity with nature.