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New maps signpost the way to a greener future

Published on 3 February 2021

As the Moorlands looks forward to a greener future, detailed maps showing the opportunities to create and improve natural spaces and develop walking and cycling routes have been published.

The maps cover sites such as parks, open spaces, playing fields and woodlands across seven different types of habitat ranging from wetlands and heathland to arable and urban land.

Since adopting a Green Infrastructure Strategy in 2018, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has been working in partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to prepare a delivery plan.

Mapping the current situation to identify opportunities to expand and enhance sites and drawing up a list of potential projects were amongst the first key actions - and this work has now been completed.

Councillor Joe Porter, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, said: "In the 18 months since adopting the Strategy we've been working hard behind the scenes with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to develop a Moorlands-wide delivery plan to help achieve our aspirations for our natural spaces.

"I'm delighted to say that, despite the challenges Covid has presented, we have still been able to make good progress and we are now at the point where the detailed mapping of opportunities to either create or enhance existing habitats to develop a green network has been undertaken.

"Alongside this, we've also developed 'active travel' maps showing how we might support walking and cycling for short journeys to some key destinations as well as encouraging these activities for leisure.

"This is a big step forward and has resulted in us being able to draw up a schedule of around 60 ambitious and exciting potential projects. Our next step is to prioritise these schemes so we can begin to make them happen."

The potential projects listed in the schedule range from planting community orchards to creating a new Greenway along the disused railway line between Tean and Cheadle.

Councillor Porter added: "Clearly we cannot deliver all these projects at once and we have a big job ahead of us now to cost and prioritise them into a smaller number of deliverable schemes.

"We'll be working with our partners to do this and I'm very much looking forward to getting started. We will, of course, share more information about the projects we identify as this work progresses - so watch this space!"