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Improving green spaces to protect the environment

Survey work to identify opportunities to improve and expand natural green spaces in the Staffordshire Moorlands is set to begin this Spring.

Known as 'green infrastructure' this includes sites such as parks, open spaces, playing fields and woodlands as well as other green features which can deliver quality of life and environmental benefits for local communities.

The District Council adopted a Green Infrastructure Strategy in May 2018 and is now preparing a delivery plan. A key part of this is mapping the current situation and identifying opportunities to expand and enhance sites.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been appointed to undertake the mapping exercise and draw up a list of possible projects.

Councillor Joe Porter, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: "Protecting our environment and managing the impact of climate change is the critical task we are all facing which is why the Council is putting it at the heart of everything we do.

"Since declaring the climate emergency last summer we have been working hard behind the scenes, and with partners, to bring together action plans and measures we can take here in the Staffordshire Moorlands so that we can make this year a year of climate action.

"Key to that is protecting and enhancing our natural, green spaces so I'm delighted that we have prioritised the work we need to do to identify opportunities and projects. I'm very much looking forward to the findings and to getting on with projects that will make a real difference to Moorlanders now and in the future."

Councillor Porter also joined the Trust at the Roaches this weekend where he was helping plant sphagnum moss plants.

He said: "The UK's peatlands store 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon which is why restoring peatland habitat with sphagnum plants is so important. They act as a lock for carbon and water helping reduce emissions and flooding.

"This is conservation work and climate resilience in action - and part of the Trust's mission to create a wilder Staffordshire. I'm pleased to be able to play a small part in helping to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited both through volunteering activities such as this and through the work we are leading at the Council."