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SALISBURY AREA GREENSPACE PARTNERSHIP

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Presentation on theme: "SALISBURY AREA GREENSPACE PARTNERSHIP"— Presentation transcript:

1 SALISBURY AREA GREENSPACE PARTNERSHIP
S P R E A D I N G THE WORD Nov 2013

2 Links to background information
Salisbury Greenspace Partnership https://salisburygreenspace.wordpress.com/ Wiltshire Council’s Green Infrastructure Strategy National Ecosystem Assessment Government White Paper ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’ June 2011 Defra’s Natural Capital Committee Local Nature Partnerships & Local Enterprise Partnerships A recent report from the Government think-tank Policy Exchange about importance of greenspace mapping As well as nature’s intrinsic value, & the social and cultural benefits of a healthy and natural environment, clearly there are important economic benefits. Current jargon refers to all these resources & benefits collectively as eco-system services or natural capital. The problem is that it is difficult to put a value on natural capital & therefore in economic terms, the market fails to take their benefits into account. Consequently, decisions, like where to build housing or whether land is more valuable as a park or as a car park, are made without the full set of information and values. Putting a ‘proper’ value on natural capital is not easy. The Government recognise this & sponsored a major piece of research called the National Ecosystem Assessment several years ago. This in turn influenced the Gvmnt White Paper on the natural envronment called: ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’ which was published in June Defra have now set up the Natural Capital Committee to advise government on these issues & I understand an Ecosystems Market Task Force has been set up to advise business on the services which flow from our natural capital. This is encouraging, but it is a complex & time consuming process. There is still the problem of how to value nature in decision making in the meantime. In Wiltshire as in counties throughout England, there are Local Nature Partnerships working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships that represent business interests to try to ensure that environmental objectives & priorities for investment are factored into their funding strategies. In particular, the Structural Investment Fund strategies for spending the new round of European funding for the 7 year period from 2014 to 2020 & the funding is substantial. [The total SIF will be around 88 million euros for the Wilts & Swindon LEP.] SGP were pleased to have been invited to contribute to a recent workshop by the S&WLNP as to how this might be achieved in Wiltshire. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

3 The Vision for the Partnership
Working together: To create a better environment for people and wildlife in the Salisbury area To provide a strong local voice for greenspace and raise awareness of its value To plan and manage the green infrastructure (GI) for the longer term We are a community-led partnership which was set up nearly 2 years ago & our vision can be summed up in the following way: We want to bring benefits for wildlife & improve access and opportunities for people to use and enjoy the many benefits of local greenspace We want to make people more aware the importance of green spaces & the connections between them – for wildlife & the community and also for the local economy The greenspace network which is often referred to as green infrastructure & so we also want to ensure that it is planned & managed to help our local communities become more sustainable over time This fits with broader government policies & with WC’s current work of developing the Green Infrastructure Strategy for the whole county

4 What is greenspace/green infrastructure?
Playing fields Urban Parks Cemeteries Children’s play areas Water meadows Allotments Street trees Street trees We have a whole variety of green spaces within our local communities and as I have just mentioned, the term green infrastructure refers to the network of different types that intersperse and connect our towns, cities and villages. There are the traditional types of open space including parks, sports pitches and play areas, as well as civic spaces and green roofs, institutional grounds like schools, street trees, domestic gardens, footpaths and cycle routes, river valleys and road verges. But greenspace also includes woodlands, fields, country parks, lakes as well as linear features which are potential corridors for people and wildlife such as the bridleways, footpaths, cycle ways, roads and railways, rivers, canals, and hedgerows Rivers & the different types of water bodies are often referred to as blue space. These networks of linked multi-functional green spaces are important assets that deliver a host of benefits & we ignore them at our peril. Cycle ways Urban woodlands River corridors Railway embankments

5 Why is GI so important? It plays a vital part in providing the natural resources we need to survive: biodiversity, and many and varied habitats clean air and water helps to mitigate climate change fertile soils flood protection food fuel So lets just examine why the green infrastructure is of such fundamental importance. As you can clearly see here the natural environment provides many of the resources we depend on – as well as biodiversity, there is the provision of clean air and water, the ability to mitigate climate change and provide protection against flooding, as well as the provision of fertile soils, food and fuel WC’s State of the Environment Report prepared in by WWT emphasises very effectively how dependent we are on a healthy natural environment

6 Why is GI so important? It enhances our quality of life:
provides inspiring places places that are rich in wildlife places to play and excercise places to relax and enjoy places to experience the natural world We all respond to the natural world at a variety of levels and there is now an increasing body of research available to support the fact that access to greenspace is vital for our health and well being. As we know green places that are well designed and managed, and rich in wildlife, can be wonderfully inspiring as well as healing, and can provide places to play, excercise, relax, enjoy and generally enhance our daily lives

7 Why is GI so important? It helps create attractive and distinctive places in which to live: adds value to property, provides educational resources, attracts businesses to invest in an area brings local communities together As well as nature’s intrinsic value, & the social and cultural benefits of a healthy and natural environment, clearly there are important economic benefits. Current jargon refers to all these resources & benefits collectively as eco-system services or natural capital. The problem is that it is difficult to put a value on natural capital & therefore in economic terms, the market fails to take their benefits into account. Consequently, decisions, like where to build housing or whether land is more valuable as a park or as a car park, are made without the full set of information and values. Putting a ‘proper’ value on natural capital is not easy. The Government recognise this & sponsored a major piece of research called the National Ecosystem Assessment several years ago. This in turn influenced the Gvmnt White Paper on the natural envronment called: ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’ which was published in June Defra have now set up the Natural Capital Committee to advise government on these issues & I understand an Ecosystems Market Task Force has been set up to advise business on the services which flow from our natural capital. This is encouraging, but it is a complex & time consuming process. There is still the problem of how to value nature in decision making in the meantime. In Wiltshire as in counties throughout England, there are Local Nature Partnerships working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships that represent business interests to try to ensure that environmental objectives & priorities for investment are factored into their funding strategies. In particular, the Structural Investment Fund strategies for spending the new round of European funding for the 7 year period from 2014 to 2020 & the funding is substantial. [The total SIF will be around 88 million euros for the Wilts & Swindon LEP.] SGP were pleased to have been invited to contribute to a recent workshop by the S&WLNP as to how this might be achieved in Wiltshire. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

8 Area covered by the Partnership
Wilton Laverstock and Ford Salisbury City The 3 main urban centres of Wilton, Salisbury, and Laverstock & Ford are included. Of course there are other parish councils in this area which we hope will also want to join the partnership & I will come back to this point a little later on The area in & around Salisbury is very fortunate and has a lot of greenspace which provides a wonderful setting for our historic city. Is one of the key reasons why people want to live and work here and why visitors come here from around the world. But there is the danger that we can take it forgranted & that the qualities we value are being eroded.

9 Current Partners Local Specialist Groups Local Authority
South Wilts Agenda 21 South Wilts Agenda 21 Biodiversity Group Salisbury Natural History Society River Bourne Community Farm CPRE South Wiltshire Group Salisbury Civic Society COGS (Cycling Opportunities Group Salisbury) Bemerton Activity Trails Salisbury Beekeepers Wiltshire Bat Group Five Rivers Association Bat Group Wiltshire Botanical Group Wilton Community Land Trust Local Authority Wiltshire Council – officers concerned with public open space, public rights of way, green infrastructure strategy, spatial planning, landscape, ecology, countryside Salisbury Vision Parish Councils Salisbury City Laverstock & Ford Wilton Town Council Community/ Volunteers Salisbury City Community Area Partnership Friends of Harnham Watermeadows Dean & Chapter, Salisbury Cathedral Friends of Harnham Slope Friends of Churchill Gardens Sarum Academy Salisbury Wildlife Group TCV – The Conservation Volunteers Wiltshire NHS Walking for Health Wiessex Community Action Environmental Agencies Natural England Link2Nature (Wiltshire & Swindon Local Nature Partnership) Forestry Commission Environment Agency RSPB Wiltshire Wildlife Trust English Heritage SGP was launched in spring 2012 by a small group of local people who have worked tirelessly over a long period & who have a strong interest in greenspace & its significance for wildlife. Individual specialists & organisations representing a wide range of interests in the natural environment were invited to the launch event & gave their enthusiastic support for an informal partnership that would provide a voice for greenspace in this area. As you can see current partners include the local authority, Wiltshire Council; 3 parish councils of Salisbury City, Laverstock & Ford & Wilton; other significant landowners such as the River Bourne Community Farm, the Harnham Watermeadows Trust, English Heritage and the Dean & Chapter. There are the various environmental agencies such as Natural England, Link2 Nature – the Wilts & Swindon Local Nature Partnership, the Forestry Commission, Environment Agency, RSPB, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, & English Heritage; & the local specialist groups including South Wilts Agenda 21 & its Biodiversity Group (have chairs of both here), Salisbury Beekeepers & the Bat Group, COGS cyclists group, the Civic Society as well as community and volunteer groups such as Salisbury City Community Area Partnership, Walking for Health, Salisbury Wildlife Group, Wiltshire NHS & various Friends of groups. We are aware that there are gaps. One of the significant groups that is missing are representatives of the local business community and we are working to try to address this issue at the moment. A representative Steering Group (of 15 members) is taking the partnership forward.

10 What are the local issues?
South Newton Quidhampton Britford Netherhampton Durnford Clarendon Park Wilton Salisbury Woodford Avon Valley Nature Reserve Harnham Slope Woodland Laverstock & Ford Country Park at Hampton Park 2 River Bourne Community Farm Delegates at the 2 workshops held as part of the launch event highlighted some key issues. Fragmented ownerships is a problem which in areas like the Avon Valley Nature Reserve & Harnham Slope Woodland, or at the River Bourne Community Farm or Hampton Park 2 – shown here in green, make a co-ordinated management approach difficult Fragmented Ownerships

11 What are the local issues?
South Newton Quidhampton Britford Netherhampton Durnford Clarendon Park Wilton Salisbury Woodford Laverstock & Ford Different jurisdictions in the Salisbury are an issue since Wiltshire became a unitary authority. As well as Wiltshire Council there are 10 parish councils. 3 of are members of the Partnership including Salisbury which is one of the largest parish councils in England representing over 40,000 people! Different Jurisdictions – Wiltshire Council + 10 Parishes

12 What are the local issues?
Amesbury Area Board Southern Area Board Salisbury Area Board South West Area Board In additon, there are 4 Area Boards but only one – Salisbury has a Community Area Partnership. The other Area Borads rely on parish council’s to represent their communities. To try address this specific issue we want to establish and improve links with the 4 Area Boards and the other 7 parish councils within the area covered by the partnership & will be using a similar powerpoint presentation to raise awareness of the need for more joined up thinking. Different Jurisdictions – 4 Area Boards

13 What are the local issues?
South Newton Quidhampton Britford Netherhampton Durnford Clarendon Park Wilton Salisbury Woodford Longhedge Old Sarum Airfield Hampton Park Fugglestone Red Erskine Barracks Southampton Road Gateway Laverstock & Ford The Maltings In addition, a number of the current development proposals straddle the administrative boundaries particularly around the periphery of Salisbury– shown as blue circles. Clearly they have an impact on several parishes and area boards but again it is difficult to appreciate the bigger picture & to assess their impact on our natural resources. Development Pressures

14 Other local issues? Poor connections between existing green spaces
Current management regimes that tend not to benefit wildlife Problems of overuse and misuse especially on the urban fringes Lack of knowledge and interest in local green spaces Lack of resources Lack of vision for the planning and management of greenspace and green infrastructure The launch workshops also brought up other important issues …………..(read list Greenspace & wildlife, or rivers or people on foot or on bikes or in cars don’t recognise administrative boundaries & it is difficult to think about these things or plan for them in a compartmentalised way, & since we have become a unitary authority, it is now even more difficult to take an overview of the situation for management purposes The green infrastructure strategy currently being prepared by Wilts Council is likely to be approved within the next year after public consultation & will provide a useful broad framework for thinking about GI but local issues will have to be resolved at the local level which is where we are hoping the joined up thinking provided by SGP will pay dividends.

15 Current focus? Mapping local greenspace to find out what is out there and where it is. This includes updating Salisbury District Council’s 2007 Public Open Space Survey Carrying out Phase 1 Habitat Mapping to provide baseline information initially for priority sites Parish Council footpath surveys, and hedgerow surveys as part of the CPRE’s Hedgerow Initiative 2010 Workshop 2 at the launch identified a number of priorities for action & the most important one was mapping - to survey and record what green space assets we have and where they are. We shall also be updating Salisbury District’s POS survey and undertaking Phase 1 Habitat surveys, initially on key sites, to provide baseline information. I n addition, the Parish Mapping being undertaken as part of a CPRE initiative will also provide valuable information. This is our current main focus.

16 Greenspace mapping Sample Map Sample Survey Sheets Typology:
Readily accessible community greenspace Restricted/controlled access greenspace Natural/semi-natural greenspace Productive greenspace Strategic greenspace Linear features The mapping is proving to be quite a challenge and a time commitment for volunteers but it is of fundamental importance, & we hope it will inform the decision making of SGP partners who are owners and managers of greenspace & help them to understand the broader context. The mapping resource will also support parishes in the preparation of their neighbourhood plans. To ensure the data will be of value to partners the survey work is being carried in some detail and according to an agreed typology which has 6 broad categories of greenspace: Category 1 - ‘Readily accessible community greenspace’ includes - parks & public gardens, play provision of various types & general amenity greenspace ’Restricted and/or controlled access greenspace’ covers allotments, outdoor sports facilites, cemeteries & churchyards. [Private gardens are type 2 but there is no intention to survey them at this stage because of the time factor] Natural or semi-natural greenspace which is not freely accessible to the community includes watermeadows, downland, woodland, various water bodies Productive greenspace includes arable farmland, orchards, paddocks, quarries or other mineral workings Strategic greenspace includes land awaiting development, as well as vacant or derelict land, & brownfield sites The linear features are fairly obvious – footpaths, bridleways & other permissive routes, cycleways, rivers, hedgerows, roads & railways all of which provide the important connections between green spaces Sample Map Sample Survey Sheets

17 Greenspace mapping typology
Volunteers have carried out the survey using this detailed typology over last winter using Google & Bing Maps as well as local knowledge. WC officers are members of the SGP steering group and are providing invaluable support for the mapping excercise. They have provided base maps under their licence with the Ordnance Survey and have undertaken to enter the data onto their GIS system which is a substantial task and is underway at the moment. Once complete the mapping will be able to be fully interrogated and used in a variety of ways by different partners. For example, Salisbury City Council plan to use the mapping to assist with their greenspace management and resource allocation; Wiltshire Council want to use the information to produce a single set of Public Open Space standards across Wiltshire.

18 Phase 1 Habitat Parish Surveys Mapping Detailed habitat information is
Improved grassland Broadleaved, mixed & yew woodland Neutral Small swamp area River Bourne Community Farm Another important dimension is the baseline data being provided by the Phase 1 Habitat mapping – on the left you can see a worked example of the information gathered at River Bourne Community farm which is then recorded by the Wilts & Swindon Biological Record Centre; and you can also see the local volunteers of Laverstock & Ford undertaking training for their hedgerow surveys. Overall there is a lot of data to be processed which will take a few more months yet but It will provide a valuable tool to enable planning for better management, access and provision in due course. It will be possible to better defend our green spaces against loss from development. It will be possible to see the bigger picture across several parishes/communities and allow for joined up thinking – literally! It is also enabling volunteers to get involved & training session have been held to get them geared up. The Salisbury Greenspace Partnership is now being seen by Wilts Council as a pilot and example of good practice for other community-led greenspace & green infrastructure initiatives. And it is a good example of effective partnership working – all this information will not only benefit partners locally but it will also assist WC to develop its county wide POS strategy and potentially help to deliver the Green Infrastructure Strategy for the whole of Wiltshire. Detailed habitat information is recorded in additional Target Notes Residents of Laverstock & Ford Parish training for their hedgerow surveys

19 Resources for Partners
Comprehensive mapping and data on local greenspace to support more wildlife friendly management A regular greenspace forum to ensure a stronger voice for greenspace Improved community support with greater resources for local green infrastructure Finally, to summarise what resources we aim to provide for partners: We aim to have mapping that can provide the overview of green infrastructure in the area. It will be able to be interrogated & used as a management tool to help partners join up their thinking. Can be updated & further information added over time eg. significant groups of trees & individual specimens, TPO’s, Conservation Areas etc We also want to encourage a greater commitment to improving wildlife habitat, diversity & range – particularly targetting grassland management including semi natural areas, woodland management and the river corridors. We want to establish a strong local voice for greenspace with a regular forum which has an influencing role –making sure that there continues to be an input to the LEP investment strategy development for the whole of Swindon & Wilts; that there are effectives links with the LNP Link2Nature; & that there continues to be an input into the GI strategy for Wiltshire, as well as monitoring development proposals & planning applications We want to ensure there is greater support locally for greenspace especially amongst schools & also the business community, & equally important, ensure there are more resources for GI – to improve & extend existing greenspace & improve connectivity; to tackle the various issues that have been highlighted, perhaps for example, with a local ranger service which would help to overcome the problems of overuse & misuse; & to share skills & specialist equipment in order to manage local greenspace in a wildlife friendly way. Could there be a local greeenspace fund? We shall also need support for the mapping in order to keep the resource up to date. So there are lots of challenges ahead but it is encouraging to note that this work will help to fill in the knowledge gaps identified in Wilts & Swindon’s ‘State of the Environment Report’ – (recording & mapping of land use & habitats, connectivity between habitats & the extent & quality of existing green infrastructure) but are essential in order to make a strong case for nature into the future.


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