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Dawn Griffiths Health and Environment Advisor Climate Change and Green Infrastructure.

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Presentation on theme: "Dawn Griffiths Health and Environment Advisor Climate Change and Green Infrastructure."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dawn Griffiths Health and Environment Advisor Climate Change and Green Infrastructure

2 Natural England’s Purpose: To conserve and enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people and the economic prosperity that brings.

3 NE has 4 strategic outcomes A healthy natural environment Enjoyment of the natural environment Sustainable use of the natural environment A secure natural environment

4 What does climate change mean for our protected species, landscapes and wildlife? Most of the remaining natural areas in England are protected as SSSIs NNRs, SACs and SPAs.

5 The vast majority of the landscape is fragmented, meaning species are trapped in isolated sites surrounded by areas that are inhospitable to them. Species are unable to respond to the demands of a changing climate Climate change requires that nature conservation efforts extend out from the current approach of fixed protection areas and looks more at the landscape scale allowing species to move.

6 NE believes that existing mechanisms aren’t enough and the following key principals for adaptation will need to be delivered for a more resilient natural environment: Conserving existing biodiversity Reducing sources of harm not related to climate Developing ecologically resilient landscapes Establishing ecological networks NE is currently working with partners to develop a methodology that will deliver a consistent and strategic approach to assessing the risk and vulnerability of the natural environment to Climate Change.

7 BRANCH Project (Biodiversity requires action in Northwest Europe under a changing climate) Planners policy makers and scientists led by NE have come together to show what help wildlife will need to adapt to climate change. Concluded that planning systems need to be more flexible and allow for networks of well connected habitats Building on this project NE has begun the process of understanding how climate change could affect the natural environment in 4 pilot areas in England - Cumbria High Fells, Dorset Downs, The Broads and Shropshire Hills Assess the sensitivity of the natural environment to climate change Compare this with an assessment of the projected change allowing us to understand the impact of future changes on the environment and how we might respond

8 Green Infrastructure (GI) ‘ A network of multifunctional greenspace that contributes to the high quality natural environment required for new and existing sustainable communities in the future. It consists of both public and private assets, with and without public access, and in both urban and rural locations’ (Green Infrastructure-Sustainable Communities in Milton Keynes and the South Midlands) GI is everything from roadside verges, nature reserves, play areas, footpaths, allotments and so on……

9 Planning and Climate Change Green Infrastructure (GI) planning– A strategic joined up approach A relatively new term that has emerged over the past few years as a responses to high levels of projected growth GI can help to ‘climate change proof’ urban areas by providing corridors and a localised moderating affect on the climate GI should be planned at a strategic level Delivered in an integrated way at all spatial planning levels The principals should be linked to LDFs The Draft East Midlands Regional Plan has a strong policy on GI and this should filter down to planning at the local level

10 GI Strategies NE believes that a GI strategy is needed as a priority in Growth Areas and New Growth Points to ensure that new growth is sustainable and environmental acceptable. A GI strategy looks across administrative boundaries as the natural environment does not respect these They can be produced at different scales The growth areas provide good examples, in our region the work of RNRP can be drawn on. The 6C Growth point is currently working in partnership to plan GI strategically across their sub-region The long term vision and priorities of the strategy should be developed from and inform local planning

11 How can GI help with the effects of climate change ? GI ensures that urban areas are more robust in the face of climate change. Urban areas designed with good GI can: –Manage temperatures better –Reduce/reduce effects of flood or drought –Improve air quality –Improve biodiversity –Contribute to overall quality of life

12 GI in relation to planning for climate change includes… –Green corridors –A variety of interlinked open spaces –Street trees –Living walls –Green roofs –Ponds, lakes, streams, meandering water courses, –Flood plains –Natural riparian zones

13 GI as a tool for tackling climate change

14 Climate Change Adaptation by Design- a Guide for Sustainable Communities

15 Case Studies – How can GI be used at a city scale? Chicago Wilderness Partnership of over 190 organisations Mosaic of forests in and around Chicago including more than 102,000ha of land and water. The green spaces purify the air, provide windbreak trees, absorb water runoff and lower noise pollution Tokyo Roof Gardens Tokyo has very bad UHI effects caused by increasing energy consumption and non porous ground cover Now all new developments over1000 square metres (or 250 for public buildings) must have green roofs and living walls

16 Upton Urban Extension- Northamptonshire

17 SUDs built into the overall design Manages rain water runoff Promotes biodiversity Adds to the attractive environment and sense of place SUDS provides the underlying basis of landscape structure, and is connected with the streets and built form Designed in collaboration with the community at the heart of the decision making process Design codes used by partners as the basis for drawing up development briefs, and for assessing developer proposals

18 In conclusion…. –Climate change is happening and we have to plan for adaptation now –We have to ensure that networks and connectivity to allow species to move around –We have to plan our new and existing urban areas for more extreme climatic variations –Land managers have a key role to play as does the planning system

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