Wetlands, tree planting and more rewilding are amongst the recommendations of Redbridge Council’s Nature and the Environment Task & Finish Group.
The recommendations are among 14 in the report, which seeks to extend biodiversity in the borough and is being considered by the council.
The report builds on work already underway as part of the council’s response to the climate and biodiversity crises as set out in the Climate Change Action Plan and Green Urban Landscape Policy.
So far the report has been well received and I’m confident the council leadership understand the need for action and measurable results the public can recognise and buy into.
There are already plans to extend grow zones, letting areas go wild and encouraging biodiversity.
We also need to look at how to encourage measures to help biodiversity on private land – the fruit tree giveaway is one such initiative.
Any new development must put environment concerns front and centre with actions to mitigate against flooding risk whilst also boosting biodiversity.
The report highlights the potential for wetland developments which can help deal with flood threats as well as extend biodiversity. And as Walthamstow Wetlands and others across the country show, they are a great visitor attraction.
A review of the Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation with a view to extending their coverage is another integral element of the report.
The approach has to be holistic, taking in every part of life. So when developers build new housing stock, there must be a net biodiversity gain.
All parts of the environmental policy need to interact together from planting more trees and developing wetlands to facilitating more active travel and extending the electricity vehicle charging network.
All of these things need to come together, if the dual threats of biodiversity and climate disaster are to be tackled. Important work is already underway and I hope this report will contribute to making our borough a greener place to live to the benefit of nature and people.
Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See paulfdonovan.blogspot.com