Council reveals plans to create a National Park City

Nov 09, 2019

PLANS to create a National Park City have been unveiled by Milton Keynes Council.

It has partnered with The Parks Trust, which manages the city’s parks and green space, in a scheme for Milton Keynes to become a leader on biodiversity and the battle to tackle climate change.

The council has already committed to turning Milton Keynes into the first carbon negative city by 2050. Now its vision is to become a National Park City and living showcase for how climate change can be tackled through biodiversity.

The aim, it says, is for Milton Keynes to become one of the greenest cities in the world. 

The vision is based around:

  • Conserving and protecting existing sites of biodiversity and wildlife;
  • Restoring and managing species and habitats so they can adapt to and mitigate a changing climate;
  • Creating new green infrastructure that takes account of the way ecosystems work;
  • Inspiring greater engagement between local people and natural environments.

Ideas include improving the diversity of local habitats, increasing tree stock, connecting woodland and increasing flood resilience. A full plan of action will be unveiled in spring 2020. 

The plan is being developed collaboratively between the council, The Parks Trust and partners.  

Cllr Emily Darlington, cabinet member for public realm, said: “In Milton Keynes, we have biodiversity and the climate crisis at the heart of our future. 

“This is a crisis on a global scale but local authorities, working with partners are in a unique position with access to land and the control to make sure it is managed to promote the highest opportunities for biodiversity.

“We intend to take some big steps forward and we hope others can learn from our experience.”

Biodiversity reflects the health of Milton Keynes as a whole, she added, and the city’s green infrastructure gives it a valuable head start, she added.

“We need to protect the five Bs: bees, bugs, butterflies, bats and birds. These lovely creatures are some of our most vulnerable and form key parts of the ecosystem. We are also the home to the endangered great crested newt and increasingly home to the dormice. I am proud of our record in creating the right environment for these creatures to thrive.

“Corridors linking key strategic reserves were an integral part of the borough’s original design. We are also a place where collaboration is a very normal part of doing business, which makes conversations like these a lot easier.”

Philip Bowsher, head of environment and volunteering at The Parks Trust, added: “We support the principles that Milton Keynes Council are adopting for the green environment of Milton Keynes and look forward to working with them, and other partners, towards delivering this vision.”

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