Defra's climate change plan flags up value of green spaces

Defra has recognised the value of green spaces in cooling urban environments and contributing to health targets as part of its new climate change plan.

Defra's Climate Change Plan 2010 also recognises the critical role of trees in adaptation. Defra secretary Hilary Benn explained: "Our natural environment is our greatest asset.

"We can't help ourselves if we don't do the same for our ecosystems - they play a vital role in helping society to adapt."

The plan sets out the benefits of green infrastructure in climate change adaptation and highlights that "properly managed, urban green spaces can help manage surface water flooding, filter pollution and cool the city air by up to 2 degsC".

It also highlights Natural England research that found increasing physical activity through access to quality green spaces could save the NHS around £2.1bn every year. One of the actions that Defra has pledged is to encourage greater use of green infrastructure.

It has jointly commissioned work with Communities and Local Government (CLG) to bring together evidence on green infrastructure. It is due to be published later this month.

The aim is to show local authorities how green infrastructure can help to deliver local, regional and national policy objectives. Updated planning guidance from CLG England is now out for consultation until 1 June on the development of green infrastructure.

The publication of Climate Change Plan 2010 coincided with the launch of the Woodland Carbon Task Force by the Forestry Commission and Defra, charged with kick-starting an increase in new woodland planting.

In November last year, Defra backed a new Forestry Commission report Combating Climate Change: A Role for UK Forests that highlighted the fact that UK woodland cover stands at 12 per cent of total land - one of the lowest levels in Europe.

The report gave an overall UK target figure of 23,000ha of new planting per year over the next 40 years, which represents a four per cent increase in overall UK tree cover to 16 per cent.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.


Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer