Natural England Announces New Green Infrastructure Framework

On February 3rd 2023, Natural England launched the Green Infrastructure Framework, designed to help towns and cities increase their amount of green cover by up to 40% in urban areas.

Research shows that 80% of people now live in towns and cities, and a third of people do not have access to green or blue space within 15 metres of their home. The governments Environmental Improvement Plan suggests that we should have access to green space within a 15-minute walk from our homes.

The Green Infrastructure Framework is structured by five standards:

  1. Urban Nature Recovery Standard: Aims to boost nature recovery and restore wildlife habitats to build resistance to climate change by including trees and wildflowers into designs.
  2. Urban Green Factor for England: Improves the level of greening in urban environments. There is a target of 40% of residential developments to have green and blue spaces, green roofs, or green walls.
  3. Urban Tree Canopy Cover Standard: Promotes tree canopy cover in urban environments to capture carbon and mitigate flood risk.
  4. Accessible Greenspace Standards: Promotes access to green and blue spaces within a 15-minute walk from home. 82% of people agree that being in nature improves their mood, but 1 in 8 do not have access to a private garden.
  5. Green Infrastructure Strategy: Supports the National Planning Policy Framework’s policy that local authorities should develop plans for green infrastructure.

The Green Infrastructure Framework will support local authorities and developers with designing and creating more nature-rich greenspaces in urban areas. This will allow them to meet new mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain requirements and support the Nature Recovery Network.

The Framework forms a part of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to deliver more and better quality green spaces to enhance towns and cities.

4th Corner and the Green Infrastructure Framework

4th Corner know that our activities impact the environment, and it is our responsibility to minimise the negative impacts of our work.

We possess the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Qualification. This enables us to comply with stringent environmental laws and regulations. It also enables us to offer our clients environmentally responsible solutions to landscape maintenance and management.

Since 2012, we have made planting for biodiversity a central theme in all our planting and landscaping projects. We now offer all our clients simple ways to improve the biodiversity of their sites through our Biodiversity Packs.

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