Government to invest £3m in network of wildlife-boosting green corridors

A £3 million project to create a network of 'green corridors' alongside roads and railways to provide better wildlife habitats has been launched by the Government.

The pilot project involves Natural England, the Highways Agency, Network Rail and Nature Improvement Area (NIA) Partnerships and will also landscape the areas to create wetland swales and ponds to store water and reduce flooding and also store carbon dioxide emissions.

Environment secretary, Elizabeth Truss, said: "These verges provide really important habitats for our precious wildlife, with benefits for people, businesses, and the wider environment.

"This project will make these areas better than ever, helping our vital pollinators by providing a home and food for them to thrive, as well as improving the weather resilience of our transport infrastructure which will boost our economy."

Natural England chairman Andrew Sells said the plan showed how transport infrastructure could become better integrated and provide more benefits to wildlife and people.

Dr Neil Strong, Network Rail’s sustainable land specialist, said: "Britain’s railways help move millions of people and thousands of tonnes of freight every day, which is why Network Rail is working hard to improve the resilience of the network to the impact of weather and climate change. The storms we experienced last autumn and winter only served to underline the importance of this work.

"Together with Natural England and other landowners, we are identifying locations where mitigation measures can help improve both the resilience of the network and increase our contribution to Britain’s biodiversity."

The pilot is a product of the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) in 2011 which pledged to bring together transport and conservation partners in the "creation of coherent and resilient ecological networks".

It will focus on the NIAs in Morecambe Bay, between Cumbria and Lancashire, and the Humberhead Levels, straddling Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. If the three-year pilot is successful it could be rolled out across the country.

The rail network has 20,000 miles of green corridors, also known as the "soft estate", while the Highways Agency has 30,000 hectares of land in addition to the extensive road infrastructure managed by local authorities. Other linear infrastructure such as canals, cycleways and power lines could also benefit.

The project is based on the findings of a literature review, carried out by ADAS UK, looking at research into transport green corridors across the UK and Europe. These were used to map out the locations best suited to conservation management and improving resilience in the two pilot areas.

Both documents were published yesterday.



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