Green Belts: more than lines on a map

Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have published Green Belts: a Greener Future. The first major survey of the environmental state of Green Belt land and the benefits it provides for people and wildlife.

Helen Phillips, Natural England’s Chief Executive, said: “By containing urban sprawl, the Green Belt has been a great success story of post-war planning. We need to look at ways in which it can expand on its success to date and play a full role in supporting England’s wider network of protected areas and open spaces. The Green Belt is an important environmental resource that, managed effectively, can help tackle climate change, support wildlife and provide health and leisure opportunities for millions to enjoy.”

Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of CPRE, said: “This report confirms that the countryside around our largest and most historic towns and cities is a vital, but fragile, environmental asset. We must continue to strengthen our Green Belts and make full use of the opportunities they provide to allow people to appreciate their local countryside. Where Green Belt land is underused, or in poor condition, the answer is to improve its quality, not to build on it.”

30 million people live in or next to Green Belts which cover 13% of the land surface of England.

Download website for  Summary and Full Report of Green Belts: a Greener Future

[SOURCE: Natural England]

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Need for green farming schemes in England

Natural England has published a report titled “Agri-environment schemes in England 2009: A review of results and effectiveness”, the report draws on research from the entire 22-year history of the schemes and analyses the impact they have made on England’s farmed environment.

Poul Christensen, Acting Chairman of Natural England, said: “This report provides conclusive proof that agri-environment schemes have again and again demonstrated their value as a fundamental part of the farmed landscape. They have successfully combined the twin goals of caring for the environment and maintaining food production. As well as sustaining our wildlife and heritage, they help combat climate change, educate our children, and deliver local investment and jobs.

To view the full report and summary please visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/aesiereport.aspx

SOURCE: Natural England

England to recover 2000 hectares of wetland

Natural England(independent public body) has committed £4million of funding to recover close to 2000 hectares of wetland. The funds will be distributed to organisatons such as the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB who will work with the Environment Agency and English Heritage to manage re-wetting the land.

Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive for Natural England: said: “It may be hard to imagine, but England was once a much wetter place than it is today. Around 90 percent of the soft and squelchy bogs and marshes have been lost over the last 1000 years. Healthy wetlands are a unique and vital habitat for wildlife and provide fantastic places for people to visit.

Wetland projects to receive funding over the next two years include the East Anglian fens, Humberhead Levels, Midlands Meres and Mosses, Morecambe Bay Wetlands, the Somerset Levels and the River Till in Northumberland*

SOURCE: Natural England

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