An update on Cherwell’s Community Nature Plan has been approved, reaffirming a strong commitment to the natural environment for people and wildlife in north Oxfordshire.
The plan, which relates to key council services in terms of their impact on the health of the natural environment, was reviewed by an Executive meeting of Cherwell District Council in early January. The importance the environment has played in supporting people’s wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic was particularly highlighted.
Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “We don’t own the environment. We hold it in trust for future generations. Whilst growth in our region is important, bringing prosperity and enabling people to live and work here, it is our statutory duty to make sure the natural environment is also protected and improved. But even if this was not the case, it is our moral responsibility to keep watch over our precious wild areas.”
Cherwell’s Community Nature Plan aims to enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value; the services it provides; the health and wellbeing of people; its contribution to action on climate change and the economic prosperity that it brings.
It also highlights the crucial partnership work between Cherwell and other organisations, in promoting, enhancing and protecting the valuable green spaces in the area.
The report comes as a new project is being launched in Bicester, promoting biodiversity, health and wellbeing. Wild Bicester is based on a similar model developed in Banbury by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), with the support of Banbury Town Council and Cherwell District Council, encouraging residents to take part in projects to protect and improve the wildlife in their local area.
In Kidlington, Wild Oxfordshire and BBOWT are advising and supporting Kidlington Parish Council on similar developments in the village.