Mansfield Independent, Coun Christine Smith on the need to protect the area’s precious green spaces...
Mansfield District is the smallest District in geographical area in Nottinghamshire yet it is the most urban.
Green spaces, therefore, are very important to us for reasons of health and well-being.
If we believe that there should be a break between settlements or that open spaces are much needed reserves of natural environment in a sprawl of urban ‘brick and concrete’ development, we should act to preserve what is important to local people.
This precious natural environment – trees, parks, informal green spaces – help to filter out pollution and keep the air we breathe clean and healthy. Experiments have shown that pollution inside houses adjacent to busy roads can be significantly reduced by tree planting in gardens and adjacent highway verges.
Green areas are ‘breathing spaces’ which add texture to our lives and set a colour palette against hard urban surfaces.
They can add beauty and fragrance to our environment and form a demonstration of pride in our neighbourhoods.
Town centres are enhanced by green oases and help to encourage inward investment and regeneration by adding distinctive character; such oases can be included in new development schemes.
We are lucky also in Mansfield District to have many beautiful parks which add to the quality of our lives through recreation, local historical interest or because they are peaceful and attractive places to be.
Green spaces can be big or small, formal or informal, and even appear uninterestingly sparse yet they can be crucial to the needs of wildlife and give animals, birds, insects, opportunities to live productively alongside us. Our allotment holders will be the first to tell us that these aids to pollination are essential in the food chain. Wildlife corridors, including hedgerows, between spaces can be important too.
The Council is asking the people of our District to nominate areas of local green space which are of particular importance to them.
Areas can be special to communities because of their beauty, recreational value, historic significance, wildlife havens, tranquillity, etc.
We cannot afford to take them for granted at a time when Local Authorities are financially hard-pressed in maintenance, etc. or for more and more encroachment through development, so it is timely that local people emphasise that our natural environment is a necessary long-term asset, not a short-term , expendable luxury.
Nominations can be integrated into Local or Neighbourhood Plans so it is important for the green areas which we value to be identified now by the people of our District.
Your suggestions and submissions need to be put forward by Wednesday, 30th April.
Contact www.mansfield.gov.uk/localgreenspace to complete a form on-line or, if you prefer, you can telephone 01623 463322 or 463195 to make your nominations over the phone.
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