The term “green infrastructure” describes the networks of natural spaces and corridors across a given area. Green infrastructure is made up of a wide range of green assets such as open spaces, parks and gardens, allotments, woodlands, street trees, green roofs, fields, hedges, lakes, ponds, meadows and grassland playing fields, as well as footpaths, cycleways and waterways.
The Green Infrastructure Strategy provides a framework to work with partners and the community to make the most of the benefits that the natural environment can and should be providing for people, places and nature within and beyond the district.
In addition to the Green Infrastructure Strategy, B&NES adopted a new Green Space Strategy for 2015-2029 which sets out standards for quantity, quality and access to green spaces; a set of policies to inform development; and a series of area profiles, and action plans, for each of the five community forum areas that cover the district. This strategy complements other related policies such as the Green Infrastructure Strategy and B&NES Placemaking Plan
In recent years the important and multiple benefits that these assets can bring to people, places and nature have often been overlooked or at best under-valued. The concept of green infrastructure and green infrastructure planning has been developed to turn this around.
The B&NES area benefits from a unique and in places, outstanding natural environment. Where this is linked with good public access and recreational opportunities it provides invaluable assets for developing and supporting healthy, happy and vibrant local communities.
Green infrastructure can deliver a range of natural services. It offers ways to protect and enhance ecological networks, prepare for climate change, build economic success, manage flood risk and improve health and well-being. It provides alternative active access options and quality green spaces for exercise and socialising. It should help to enhance landscape character and local distinctiveness and also provide attractive and appealing places to live and work.
The Council values the natural environment very highly and is committed through Council Vision and Values and the Core Strategy to maintaining and improving it.