Sanity for the soul

‚’Sanity for the Soul‚’. Since the first lockdown of the pandemic people have intuitively connected with their local landscape. A daily dose of nature has protected mental and physical health across the country. After the Second World War we realised the importance of special green places. 1949 saw the inception of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As we ‚’built back better‚’, we realised that we must take care of these places so that they could help us. But unfortunately, not all of us. Today 36% of the population lives too far from these special green/blue places to benefit from them. Everywhere are the local natural green spaces and landscapes that have seen such a huge surge in usage during the pandemic. They may not be famous or meet the high bar for national designation but they are clearly valued and needed. But, in many instances, their future is not secure due to pressures of economic growth and development. The 2011 Localism Act empowered communities to determine what happens locally. Neighbourhood Plans identify the assets that are valued by a community. Green spaces are surely a vital and integral part of those assets. Just as communities have come together to bid for services and assets which otherwise could be lost, now is the time for local communities to become the caretakers of the landscapes they care about. With the 2020 White Paper, Planning for the Future there is an opportunity to launch an additional new landscape designation. Post Covid we will again endeavour to build back better. As we look forward, we must ensure that nature and green spaces will continue to be there for all of us. Now is the time to launch ‚’Community Areas of Landscape Value‚’, (CALV) bringing people and nature together for good.

 

 

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