Location: Across Essex county
Purpose: Essex County Council wanted to create a strategy that enhances, restores and creates high quality green infrastructure to benefit both wildlife and residents. The strategy aims to guide the council and partner organisations on the funding required and the protections needed from the planning system to protect local wildlife and widen access to high quality green spaces.
Description: In addition to reaching out to local groups and residents the County Council created a Steering Group to help formulate the strategy. The group included environmental groups, development groups, local authorities at different tiers, universities and more to bring expertise to the strategy. The strategy itself identifies the challenges facing the green infrastructure across Essex (insufficient funding for protections, a lack of community awareness, and the environmental threats to existing green infrastructure). It then details a number of proposals to mitigate against these threats. These include embedding an environmental net gain principle, creating sustainable drainage systems, and embedding the protection and enhancement of green infrastructure into the planning system. The strategy has received the Building with Nature accreditation.
Funding: The County Council has sourced funding from numerous sources including £25 million from the Government’s High Street Fund for green infrastructure on the high street, the Environment Agency and through active travel funding.
Conservative councillor/ council lead: Essex County Council,Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Action, Councillor Simon Walsh
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