Green Belt - worth investing in
The CPRE is calling on the Government, local authorities and others to take action to realise the full potential of Green Belts.
Green Belts have been guarding against urban sprawl for more than 60 years.
That’s the main purpose of England’s 14 Green Belts - to protect our largest and most historic towns and cities from merging into one endless metropolis.
But the Green Belt means so much more to the people who use it.
Covering 12.5 per cent of England, it’s the local countryside for 30 million people - a place where they can stretch their legs and get closer to nature.
Almost a fifth of England’s public rights of way are within Green Belts. That’s routes such as public footpaths and bridleways, stretching over 30,000km. Green Belts also have 12% of the National Cycle Network.
Almost half of England’s Country Parks, over a third of Woodland Trust land and Local Nature Reserves, and almost a quarter of our most historic Parks and Gardens are within Green Belts. Green Belts also contain a third of all the new Local Nature Reserves created since 2009.
Home to a large proportion of England’s deciduous woodland and other types of important and threatened wild areas known as ‘Priority Habitat’, Green Belts are also a haven for wildlife.
So Green Belts are already a fantastic resource - offering a home for wildlife, a place for recreation for millions of people, and environmental benefits for all of us
But we can do better.
There are opportunities to:
- Improve accessibility for people
- Create better habitats for wildlife
- Enhance environmental value
Recent polling found that connecting with nature was a priority when people were asked what they would like to see more of in the Green Belt.
The creation of more woodland parks, more nature reserves and more educational opportunities were the most popular options.
Its permanence, protected status and proximity to those 30 million people who live nearby makes the Green Belt a wise place to invest.
We’re calling on the Government, local authorities and others to take action to realise the full potential of this vital resource.
Green Belts: worth investing in
- For our health
- For nature’s health
- For our future
To see more on the Green Belt’s value and how to make the most of its potential, visit www.cpre.org.uk/ValuingGreenBelt