The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is inviting Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship proposals that address the issues and opportunities around green infrastructure (GI) for planners in building it into investment decisions for developments in urban areas.
Under this call, NERC welcomes proposals that build on NERC funded research from applicants based in UK higher education institutions, NERC research centres and independent research organisations, to develop:
Decision support tools around the value of GI and the effectiveness of differing GI approaches.
Models to allow demonstration of value of GI.
Innovative approaches that could assist in the development of new business models and processes underpinning GI.
Case studies where planners have successfully used and sustained GI in developments.
David Ralph and Peter Richardson, D2N2 LEP, arriving at the event
On Monday 20th March, the LNP launched an economic report* that makes a strong case for taking an environmentally led and coordinated approach to future development in the Trent Valley in order to maximise its economic potential.
The Trent Valley runs right through Lowland Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and includes the cities of Derby and Nottingham. It is a landscape that continues to be subjected to many pressures, most notably from sand and gravel extraction, house building and intensive agriculture. Over time, further piecemeal development in inappropriate places with little regard for the impact on the wider landscape risks spoiling and further degrading the Trent Valley, with negative impacts for local people and the environment for decades to come.
The LNP has identified that an opportunity exists to minimise the impact of inevitable further development on the valley by actively planning for future expansion to happen in a more coordinated way, and in the most appropriate places. Taking a coordinated, landscape-driven approach to development and restoration would create a new, beautiful and more functional landscape where people want to live, work and spend their leisure time. It would maximise the Trent Valley’s potential as a recreational and tourist destination. The economic benefits of this would be significant, according to a study prepared by Risk and Policy Analysts.
A new approach could, by 2050:
bring in more than £2.8 billion a year in additional economic benefits*;
create around 150,000 new jobs;*
annually generate £80 million per year in additional social and environmental benefits.*
The Trent Valley is a historic landscape with significant heritage assets including the historic settlement of Repton; the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mercia, Swarkestone Causeway – the longest stone built bridge in England, Elvaston Castle and Park, Newark-on-Trent which has a new Civil War Centre and the Anglo-Saxon town of Gainsborough. Nature reserves such as Attenborough and Langford Lowfields, which lie all along the valley, demonstrate the potential environmental ecosystems services that the area can deliver.
The event was held at Toyota Motor Manufacturing near Derby, and attended by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Chair, Peter Richardson, and Chief Executive David Ralph; Derbyshire County Council Leader, Anne Western, and representatives from Midlands Connect, Heritage Lottery Fund, Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire, Newark and Sherwood and South Derbyshire Councils.
Commenting on the event, Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership promoting economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – said: “Making the landscape a genuine part of our economic growth strategy, is something I would like D2N2 to be the first LEP in the country to do; and then sell this approach to a Government which is absolutely looking for a new way forward, as stated in its new Industrial Strategy.”
The LNP has just completed development of its Green Infrastructure Prospectus. This concise document makes the case for strategic investment in Green Infrastructure (GI) as a way to maintain and extend the high quality natural environment that we are so lucky to enjoy in our area. The natural environment has always been valued for its amenity benefits – the LNP also wants to ensure its value to the economy is recognised and that we take full advantage of its economic potential.
This prospectus is just the first step in achieving a regional GI network that will keep pace with economic development and provide much-needed opportunities for communities to access green spaces in cities and towns as well as the wider countryside.
We are distributing the prospectus to stakeholders throughout the LDN area and are encouraging them to endorse the recommendations in the Prospectus and work with the LNP to implement the next steps needed to realise them.
We’d like to thank all the individuals and organisations who participated in the GI workshop that we organised last year. This was a catalyst for development of the Prospectus and provided an excellent overview of actual and potential GI projects across the whole LDN area. Our thanks also go to the Forestry Commission who funded development of the prospectus.
In anticipation of the future ERDF Priority Axis 4 Low Carbon call, D2N2 LEP will be hosting a free workshop on Wednesday 16 November 2016 at the Enterprise Centre, University of Derby in Derby.
The workshop is designed to support organisations with their applications to deliver projects that will support the shift towards a low carbon economy across D2N2 LEP in the following areas:
• Promoting the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources.
• Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy use in enterprises.
• Supporting energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure, including in public buildings, and in the housing sector.
• Promoting low-carbon strategies for all types of territories, in particular for urban areas, including the promotion of sustainable multimodal urban mobility and mitigation-relevant adaptation measures.
• Promoting research and innovation in, and adoption of, low-carbon technologies.
Derbyshire County Council is looking for up to 10 Trustees to create the Elvaston Castle & Gardens Charitable Trust.
The Council has worked closely with the local community and others to develop a 10 year Vision and Plan for the future of Elvaston which they believe can be best delivered by transferring the Estate to a new managing body, the Elvaston Castle & Garden Trust.
The Council is looking to recruit Trustees with experience in property regeneration, business planning, major fundraising, partnership working and who bring commercial acumen.
Key tasks for Trustees over the next few years will include:
• Finalising a robust 3 year business plan for the new Trust;
• Agreeing how and when the estate and staff are transferred from the county council to the trust under a long lease;
• Working with the Council to undertake detailed master-planning for the Estate’s regeneration and associated capital programme;
• Shaping an emerging fund-raising strategy and working with the Council to secure major funding to implement the first phases of the master-plan;
• Identifying, shaping and implementing new commercial initiatives and opportunities.
Pollinators face many pressures which have led to declines in numbers, and a reduction in the diversity of species to be found across the country. If pollinators go into serious decline this could have a significant impact on agriculture and on the wider landscape. The LNP has therefore welcomed the opportunity to support Buglife – the invertebrate conservation trust – with their ‘B-Lines’ project in the Lowland Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area.
Ultimately, the initiative aims to develop a UK-wide network, made up of wildflower-rich areas (the so-called ‘B-Lines’) to help valuable insect pollinators such as bumblebees, hoverflies and butterflies. You can view the national B-lines map here.
Locally, over the last few months, Buglife has been working with conservation and local authority partners to map a priority B-Lines network for Nottinghamshire. This mapping is part of a wider project, which with support from Anglian Water is helping to roll out the B-Lines initiative across the entire East of England.
The B-Lines provide a UK-wide framework for targeting work for pollinators, in particular promoting the restoration and expansion of existing wildflower-rich habitats and the creation of stepping stones of habitat between them. Connecting suitable habitats for pollinators is crucial to their survival especially as climate change means they may need to disperse across large distances to find suitable climactic conditions.
Buglife hopes to encourage all conservation partners, local authorities, farmers and land owners to enhance and create wildflower-rich habitats along the B-Lines, helping to make the region more pollinator-friendly. However everyone can play a part and Buglife would like to involve schools, villages, community groups and businesses within the B-Lines in taking action for insect pollinators.
Buglife is interested to hear from organisations with ideas or projects which can help develop the B-Lines network. And you can help Buglife to create the B-Lines by adding your own wildflower work to their interactive B-Lines map (http://www.buglife.org.uk/b-lines).
The RSPB Technical Advice Unit is running two courses on woodland management in July. Please see below and the attached booklet for course details, cost and how to book.
Woodland management for wildlife – an introduction
Date: 26 July Location: Ticknall, South Derbyshire
This course will explore how woodland management for wildlife can be integrated with other woodland management objectives, including legal, practical and financial considerations. It will cover the ecology of declining woodland species and how targeted management can benefit these, illustrated by a site visit to Calke Abbey National Trust estate. Suitable for landowners and managers or others who wish to increase their knowledge of woodland wildlife.
Woodland management for wildlife – advanced
Date: 20 July Location: Retford, Nottinghamshire
This course is suitable for woodland owners and managers, forestry practitioners and advisers. It covers the ecology of declining woodland species and how targeted management for wildlife can be integrated with other woodland management objectives. The course includes talks from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Forestry Commission, and a workshop style discussion on relevant management issues and practical/financial considerations. A site visit to Treswell Wood Nottinghamshire illustrates possible approaches to integrating economic sustainability with conservation management.
Two case studies reflecting some of the recent work of our Local Nature Partnership have just been placed on our website. They were produced at the request of Defra, and relate to two areas of activity:
1) Natural Capital Baseline Assessment – this case study describes our efforts last year to create a document summarising all the natural capital assets across the LNP region (download it here).
2) Influencing the Planners – this case study explains our recent work in engaging with Local Plans and local planning authorities through the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ (download it here).
We had assumed that all the case studies being prepared by Local Nature Partnerships across England would be circulated among all the other the LNPs to help us learn from one another. However we discovered that their main purpose is to help Defra staff respond to Ministerial requests for information about LNP activities. Whilst we support this, we did feel it would also be of interest to others if we placed both documents on our website, and urge Defra to take the lead in greater information-sharing and coordination between LNPs.