1st November 2021
National land management charity the Land Trust is delighted to announce the launch of a new five year Biodiversity, Environment and Ecology strategy.
The new strategy will focus on three key themes:
1) Developing the Trust’s current assets – protecting and enhancing what we have, and educating those who live, learn and work close to our sites
2) Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain – working with property developers to provide sustainable local development that enhances the environment
3) Climate Change adaptation / Natural Capital Investment – use our existing and pipeline sites to protect and enhance the local area from climate change threats. Gain a greater understanding of the social value we can deliver, encouraging and working to deliver natural capital investment
Over the next five years the Trust will prioritise species and habitats and work with our managing partners, volunteer workforce and local communities to undertake a national biodiversity baseline of its sites and better record the habitat management work which takes place on the Trust’s parks and green spaces.
With the Land Trust managing public open space within a growing number of property developments the challenges and opportunities presented by Biodiversity Net Gain will also be a key area of focus.
Biodiversity Net Gain is a mandatory approach to development that ensures biodiversity is left in a better state than before. Where a development has an impact on biodiversity it requires developers to provide an increase in appropriate natural habitat and ecological features over and above that being affected. It is intended that the current loss of biodiversity through development will be halted and ecological networks can be restored.
The Land Trust is ideally placed to help developers manage the challenges of Biodiversity Net Gain, keeping their costs to a minimum and protecting the investment they have made in their development.
By working with communities to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain, the Land Trust will also enhance community engagement, health and well-being, the local economy and education, therefore providing a sustainable approach to Net Gain that delivers social value and environment, social and governance credentials.
With over 80 parks and green spaces under management the Land Trust has many sites which are rich in biodiversity and wildlife with huge potential to develop that further.
The Land Trust has five key charitable objectives which drives the work of the charity with one of them having a focus on environment and biodiversity. The Trust’s ambition is for their parks and green spaces to be as rich in biodiversity as possible and we manage our sites in such a way that trees and flower, bugs and birds and visitors can thrive alongside each other.
To achieve this we:
• Promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment.
• Promote sustainable development for the benefit of the public by the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment and the prudent use of natural resources and the promotion of biological diversity.
• Advance the education of the public in subjects relating to sustainable development and the protection, enhancement and rehabilitation of the environment.
• Advance public education in environmental matters and other ways of better conserving, protecting and improving the physical and natural environment.
• Promote urban and rural regeneration in areas of economic and social deprivation by the protection or conservation of the environment.
Developing the work the Trust is already doing on its sites will be the third key strand of the strategy over the next five years. The green space the Trust currently owns and manages can, with intelligent management, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Such natural interventions are increasingly being recognised as a desirable approach to combating climate change as they also help to deliver other social, economic and environmental benefits.
Director of Operations, Alan Carter, said:
“At the Land Trust we have long understood the important role our parks and green spaces can play in helping the environment, biodiversity and ecology of an area, and we have always managed our sites in such a way to allow them to thrive.
“Working in collaboration with our managing partners and others, we deliver a huge amount of activity that benefits the environment.
“However the challenge of delivering charitable outcomes is ensuring that we can organise events and activities that benefit our communities while ensuring that it doesn’t negatively affect the wildlife and biodiversity that call our sites home.
“What we try and do is the opposite. We engage with the local community so that they understand and value the natural environment around them, and by doing so we encourage them to undertake activities and tasks which improve the environment and biodiversity.
“We are incredibly proud of the work we do already and are excited about the challenges we face in the future.”
The first phase of this work will see the Land Trust engage with their service charge customers. The Trust currently manages public open space within property developments for over 4,500 homeowners delivering significant economic and social value. The Trust wants to work with these homeowners by helping them develop their gardens and make them rich for pollinators. The Trust has created an information leaflet which will be sent to all their customers over the next 12 months. This leaflet is also available for download on the Trust’s website and will be highlighted on social media.
Nick Taylor Buck, Trustee and Chair of the Land Trust’s BEE Advisory Group added:
“At the Land Trust we recognise that we have a unique opportunity to use our 80 parks and green spaces to help improve the biodiversity, environment and ecology of our country.
“There has never been a better time to do this. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 what has become increasingly clear is the new found appreciation that people have for parks and green spaces in general.
“We have witnessed this first hand with thousands of people flocking to our sites to help with their physical and mental wellbeing during the periods of lockdown. Although we haven’t been able to run our normal community events and activities our green spaces have never been more popular or well-used which has been wonderful to see.
“Our new Biodiversity, Environment and Ecology (BEE) strategy aims to tackle some of the problems the whole world is facing. With climate change a problem that can no longer wait to be tackled, this new plan builds on the great work we are already doing with the ambition of developing that substantially over the next five years.”
To learn more about the Trust’s plans you can view the new Strategy document here.
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