Alternative - Adding to quality of life - spiritual value: 2009 GreenArc Partnership

1. Project Title
‘Bringing the outdoors closer to everyone’

2. List the main RWS theme(s) relevant to your project
Some projects contribute to Quality of Life and Natural Environment

3. Short Project Description
The GreenArc partnership has a common agenda to enhance greenspace for people and wildlife across an area stretching from Dagenham and Thames Chase Community Forest north to Hatfield Forest, and to the east from Hatfield through to Brentwood.

4. Project Status

5. What has been undertaken to date?
Up until 2006/7, 90 ha of new public greenspace had been created, several Lee Valley sites linked, 15 km of cycleways installed, 200 ha of greenspace improved, thousands of trees planted and the Deerwise and FWAG Horsewise initiatives had been supported.

With the declaration of the growth areas and a subsequent rise in land prices during 2007 within and around the corridor, the Partnership recognised that its strategy of greenspace delivery would have to switch away from active creation to one of facilitating greenspace development/improvement. A formal statement of this strategy was produced (‘Making connections’ brochure) illustrating the three key prongs of development – namely access improvements to peri-urban areas, use of waterways to link developments and creation of ‘joined-up’ greenspaces and the provision of landscape-scale woodland projects.

6. Any specific lessons learned?
That the development of a coherent strategic direction and fund raising must go hand in hand.

Second, fundamentally partnerships can too easily become a flawed method of working unless there are dedicated resources, in particular staffing, coupled to a manpower resource prepared to drive partners.

Third, that rocketing land prices in and adjacent to growth areas severely constrains the opportunities for greenspace creation.

7. Future Developments
The absence of ‘greenspace deprivation’ data will be addressed and stronger connections with planning departments and developers are well in hand.

8. Contact Details
Richard Rafe, Natural England,
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