Natural beauty to be protected

LINCOLNSHIRE’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity is set to be protected for the enjoyment of residents and visitors, under plans unveiled by Lincolnshire County Council.

The council’s environmental scrutiny committee agreed on Friday to adopt a new Natural Environment Strategy, which aims to achieve ‘the greatest benefits that are available’ by ‘protecting, managing and enhancing the environment around us.’

Committee chairman Coun Colin Davie said: “We’ve a new environment strategy for Lincolnshire which has been adopted for recommendation to the full council.

“If approved, it will put the protection of the county’s landscape for the enjoyment of local people and visitors at the heart of what we do.

“Protecting biodiversity and wildlife is key to driving forward the county’s tourism offer and ensuring the best quality of life for its residents.”

The strategy has been developed in line with recent developments in government policy set out in its 2011 white paper The Natural Choice, providing new opportunities for councils to safeguard its environmental heritage.’

If the strategy is adopted, the county council will work with local businesses, communities and landowners to protect the natural environment, with the view to creating economic, social and health benefits to the county’s residents and visitors.

Focusing on key natural beauty spots in the local area, including The Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park, Lincolnshire Coastal Grazing Marshes and Gibraltar Point, amongst others, the county council will aim to increase community engagement in managing these resources.

The report states: “A key principal of this strategy is the need to work with local people, landowners and businesses to support and facilitate genuine local involvement in the natural and cultural environment.”

The strategy also aims to protect the county’s biodiversity by nurturing its 17,000 kilometres of road verges, through the development of its Live on the Verge project.

Waterways throughout the county are also set to be protected and better utilised alongside the council’s ongoing commitment to reducing flood risk.

And the county council’s approach to planning would also be adopted to take a more environmentally conscious approach in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.