We are proud of the Lib Dem South Cambs District Council's newly adopted strategy to double nature in South Cambridgeshire, which will bolster rich wildlife habitats, tree cover and accessible green spaces, as well as improving air quality and water management. This very much complements the council’s overall goal of turning South Cambs carbon neutral by 2050.
The doubling of nature will be achieved through several strategies at all levels of South Cambs life, starting with an audit of all trees on district council land. This will record the location, size, species and condition of every tree, enabling the council to plant the right trees in the right places to maximise tree canopy.
The council will support residents who want to plant trees and shrubs on communal land, and continue with the Three Free Trees scheme, which offers parish councils vouchers to buy trees. It will also improve its green spaces by reseeding them with wildflowers where suitable, and support community orchards, allotments and woodlands, as well as the development of new neighbourhood green spaces.
Meanwhile the council has made biodiversity and green spaces one of the four big themes that will influence how homes, jobs and infrastructure are planned in the new Local Plan. Its aim is to achieve 20% biodiversity net gain on all new developments in the district.
Cllr Pippa Heylings, the Lib Dem Chair of South Cambs District Council’s Climate and Environment Advisory Committee, said:
“The pandemic has exposed the terrible inequality that exists because of the number of families who do not have close and easy access to wild, open, green spaces. South Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and yet is one of the poorest in terms of biodiversity, and has one of the smallest areas of land managed for nature, relative to size. The challenge to balance economic growth with measures to protect and enhance nature has never been more urgent.”
South Cambs District Council’s Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Bridget Smith, said:
“The days when we could just take nature for granted are long gone. The cumulative damage that began with the Industrial Revolution has now reached the point where all of nature is under serious threat, and just minimising and mitigating damage is no longer an option. We now have no choice but to actively find every opportunity we can to protect and enhance what natural assets we have, and to double, as an absolute minimum, the land that is devoted to nature. If we do this right, we will create well managed natural habitats for both nature and humans to enjoy. We will improve air quality and biodiversity, and reduce the damage from climate change. In South Cambridgeshire we are determined, through everything we do, to create a district where nature come first and thrives as a consequence.”
Check out the series of free webinars the council is running during Climate and Environment Fortnight 2021, which starts on 22nd February:
• Greener businesses - Thursday 25 February
• Sustainable farming in Cambridgeshire - Friday 26 February
• Greening your older home, tips and inspiration - Tuesday 2 March
• Shrinking your carbon footprint - Wednesday 3rd March
• Food for our future workshop - Thursday 4 March