Green Infrastructure Strategy

Our natural environment and the North Somerset landscape, which includes green spaces, wildlife and waterways, is important to us all. We all depend on the benefits provided by nature, also known as ecosystem services. These include things like:

  • food and materials
  • clean water and air
  • climate regulation
  • flood prevention
  • pollination
  • recreation

The climate and nature emergency has shown that our environment can be very fragile and needs careful management to flourish. Our appreciation of our blue and green assets has also grown since the start of the COVID -19 outbreak.

To address this, we have prepared our green infrastructure strategy. This will help us plan to protect and enhance our natural environment.

The importance of green infrastructure

Green infrastructure is about connecting places and habitats to make them the best they can be. 

It includes things like:

  • parks and open spaces
  • woodlands
  • seaside walks and coastal pathways
  • natural flood defenses and drainage systems

We protect and manage these spaces to enhance their environmental benefits and the quality of life they provide for the local area. They also play an important role in North Somerset Councils plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. Their preservation and enhancement is key to the nature and climate emergency we are facing.

Why we have developed a GI strategy

Our main goal in developing a GI strategy is to: 

  • protect and enhance the Green Infrastructure network within North Somerset
  • form a vital contribution to the council's vision for: ‘An open, fairer, greener North Somerset’
  • support the Council's declaration of a climate and nature emergency in 2019 and 2020

In our view, the development of a robust GI strategy, which produces well planned and managed green infrastructure, is crucial in tackling the climate emergency.

We aim to use the strategy to inform our decision making, planning policy, and development management. We think this will create a healthier and more attractive place for residents, with better access to nature and high-quality open spaces. It will also improve biodiversity across the region.  

The strategy will also:

  • set out the GI network in North Somerset and provide a framework for GI improvements for both people and wildlife
  • support and help deliver the requirements of both national and local policy and strategies

We have developed this strategy in agreement with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF requires local  authorities to set out a strategic approach to green infrastructure in their Local Plans.

It also draws support from the West of England Joint Green Infrastructure Strategy (JGIS) (2020-2030) and feeds into the North Somerset Local plan (2023-2038).

Our objectives

The strategy includes an action plan to achieve eight main objectives.

Image

Additional documents

The Green Infrastructure strategy will impact all aspects of life in North Somerset. We want to work with you to help shape the future of our communities and create a greener, fairer and more resilient North Somerset.

We have provided the executive summary document, as well as the full document with appendices and maps, for your review.