We are creatures of nature. We survive because of nature. Nature is an essential part of our identity.
Nature is disappearing and being disrupted everywhere. Norfolk ALC is working with Norfolk Green Care Network) on many connected fronts.
The Green Care Network is creating local trails and nature spaces so that people of all ages can gain access to peaceful natural areas to restore their souls. This will have important public and personal health gains and help reduce the spiralling costs of care and support.
Nature provides protection from damaging flash floods which can happen in any low-lying locations. Local councils play a vital role in ensuring that drainage is designed to handle localised flooding and that all soils are protected against storms. The County has a fund for reducing the flood danger of inadequate or unsuitable drainage in local councils. So there already is scope for local councils to work with the highways authorities and local landowners to reduce the likely flood threat.
Nature also absorbs the carbon-based gases which change climates. Planting more, providing enriched soils and creating wetlands, all suck up excess carbon. This is a benefit which can be paid for by carbon emitters so long as they also reduce their emissions. There are new nature restoration schemes in the offing which can be coordinated and harnessed to regenerate soils and nature for the common good.
There are many emerging schemes for nature improvement in Norfolk. These include nature recovery projects, providing new biodiversity linked to all development projects which require planning permission, and planting trees and marsh vegetation to reduce water pollution also part of development projects.
Dealing with the impacts of drought and flooding will be key in protecting and enhancing the natural environment. At the heart of this will be understanding patterns of land use and ownership, awareness of existing and potential mechanisms for creating change and improvements and working with existing agencies.