Partnership aims to protect national park using principles of natural capital

Architects, wildlife charities, councils, utility businesses, health bodies, universities and civil engineering firms are among 70 organisations that have signed up to The Green Halo Partnership launched to protect the New Forest National Park.

Green Halo partners. Image: New Forest National Park
Green Halo partners. Image: New Forest National Park

The partnership recognises the contribution the natural environment makes to the local economy and society and the partners have agreed to work together to ensure that both the park and its surroundings work to protect and improve that environment. 

A conference last week explored how the natural capital of the national park can support the local economy, improve health and wellbeing, encourage sustainable living and enhance the natural environment

The partners identified a range of actions and projects which will help maintain and enhance natural resources and  protect the unique character of the New Forest and surrounding area.

New Forest National Park Authority chief executive Alison Barnes said: "Companies and organisations attending the launch today have shown that working with the environment in mind has benefits now and in the future. For example, water saving measures are not only good for our environment but for a company’s bottom line, designing eco buildings is not necessarily more expensive and results in energy savings and less use of natural resources, creating communities with green space is good for wildlife but also for our health and wellbeing.

"These organisations today have shown their commitment to creating a world class environment and world class economy here in the south."

One of the signatories, Paul Stubbington, environment director of consulting engineering group Ramboll, said: "Ramboll’s largest office outside of London is located on the edge of the New Forest. This brings with it various challenges but these are outweighed by the benefits that the New Forest environment provides us, offering the staff a first class environment to work in, and demonstrating our environmental credentials in our everyday activities.

"Being part of the Green Halo Partnership enables us to promote the benefits of being in the New Forest as well as having an active role in the protection and enhancement of our natural capital within and around it."

Natural capital is an idea which is gaining ground. Last week also saw the launch of the first Natural Capital Account for London, which valued its green spaces as being worth £91 billion.

The London Borough of Barnet Corporate Natural Capital Account by Jon Sheaff and Associates won the Fellows’ Award for Creating Healthy Places and was highly commended in the Landscape Policy and Research category at last week's Landscape Institute Awards 2017.

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