Our rich and diverse environment is integral to our region’s health and economic prosperity. Understanding and valuing the benefits natural environment provides to people, place and nature, is crucial to how we manage natural assets and the services they provide, such as food, fuel, water regulation, pollination, recreation.
Well-planned and managed, functioning green infrastructure – including rivers, ponds, parks, trees and allotments – help us maximise the benefits and value we derive from our natural assets, including clean air, plentiful water, health and equitable climate.
The Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy (JGIS) has been produced and endorsed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils. You can read the strategy by clicking through to this link https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Joint-Green-Infrastructure-Strategy-%E2%80%93-June-2020..pdf.
With WECA and the West of England councils having each declared a Climate Emergency, the strategy is now more relevant than ever ensuring that our network of multifunctional urban and rural green space responds to the climate and ecological emergency.
Whilst the JGIS was developed by WECA and the West of England councils, its delivery requires the support of many partners and stakeholders.
As part of the published JGIS, an Action Plan (2020-23) integrates wider activity to address green infrastructure related requirements of Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and Environment Bill (2019/21) including; developing the West of England’s Nature Recovery Network, exploring an approach to develop a West of England Natural Capital Account, understanding ecosystems services and meeting the requirements of Biodiversity Net Gain.
The five authorities are grateful to the following for their collaboration on the JGIS:
- Natural England https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england
- Environment Agency https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency
- Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership https://www.wessexwater.co.uk/environment/catchment-partnerships/bristol-avon-catchment-partnership, and
- West of England Nature Partnership https://www.wenp.org.uk/