Recreation Spaces: Greater London

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22 May 2023.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to protect access to (a) green spaces and (b) Greenways in (i) Enfield North constituency and (ii) London.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises the importance of providing access to the outdoors for people’s health and wellbeing and is working to ensure this is safe and appropriate. We committed in our Environmental Improvement Plan to work across government to help ensure that everyone lives within 15 minutes’ walk of a green or blue space.

The Government is delivering a number of policies to protect access to green spaces including in urban areas. Examples of these include:

  • Delivering the £9m Levelling Up Parks Fund to improve green space in over 100 disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the UK.
  • The launch of the Green Infrastructure Framework: Principles and Standards for England in January 2023 which shows what good green infrastructure looks like and will help local authorities, developers and communities to improve provision in their area.
  • Local Nature Recovery Strategies will identify locations where action for nature recovery would be particularly beneficial, encouraging the creation of more green spaces, including in urban areas.
  • Implementing a number of rights of way reforms which will streamline the process for adding new or lost footpaths to the rights of way network.

Local highway authorities are responsible for the management and maintenance of existing public rights of way and are required to keep a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) to plan improvements to the rights of way network in their area. This must include an assessment of the local rights of way including the condition of the network.

In Enfield, Natural England is working with the Council in developing its local plan to create high quality places that tackle climate change, the nature emergency, inequalities, and promote health and well-being. This will also help Enfield to embed Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Standards into the plan and supporting documents.

In addition Enfield has been awarded £500,000 from the Landscape Recovery Scheme to support schemes to restore nature, reduce flood risks and boost biodiversity include creating hundreds of hectares of woodlands and grassland, wetlands and restore rivers and expanding the Enfield Chase Restoration Project.

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