Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said she was delighted with the "overwhelming response" to the consultation.
She said: "This is exactly the kind of debate that we had hoped to stimulate. A healthy environment is something that we all need, and all enjoy, so it’s vital that people get involved.
"We will take these ideas forward as we look to create a new vision for our natural environment and seek opportunities to enhance its value."
The Wildlife Trusts chief executive Stephanie Hilborne OBE said: "This overwhelming response provides a clear message to the government that people care passionately about the natural environment and want to see bold and ambitious action to support its recovery."
The White Paper will be published in spring 2011 and will include details on biodiversity offsetting – where developers responsible for the loss of an environmental area pay for a new habitat elsewhere.