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Natural assets action plan

Supporting documents

The following documents may help you when responding to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy consultation:-

Introduction

Natural Assets play a critical role in providing services that are vital for the physical wellbeing of Dorset’s population.  As well as the natural regulation of hazards, such as flooding.

Dorset Council has a responsibility to protect the county’s Natural Assets, facilitating habitat gain and improving the quality and protection of Dorset’s species. We also need to increase sequestration, use land to increase resilience to climate change, and ensure that future management and maintenance of these assets are financially sustainable.

After detailed evidence and information gathering exercises, led by the EAP and carried out by officer working groups, it has been recommended that the Council implement the following 22 actions relating to Dorset’s Natural Assets.

Milestones have been identified for each action. This plan shows the immediate targets we will need to achieve by 2023 to keep us on track.

Objective 1

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 

Protect and increase ecological value, carbon sequestration and climate resilience on Council land

Direct, indirect, partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, encourages economic sustainability, enhances health and wellbeing Medium 
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target
Identify areas on Dorset Council land to enhance ecological value, carbon sequestration and climate resilience (surface water run off and natural flood management) Direct Medium Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing None  

Appropriate areas identified
by 2022

Develop a scientifically robust approach to identify & monitor carbon sequestration values of council owned open space Direct High Improves ecology, builds resilience, encourages economic sustainability Medium Methodology created & communicated 

by 2021

Expand ‘cut and collect’ verge management to increase ecological value of highway verges Direct  Low Improves ecology, builds resilience,  Medium  1 x additional “cut & collect” machine purchased and

Additional waste sites identified by 2022

Develop and provide guidance to ensure community tree planting initiatives are ecologically robust & sensitive to local landscape (‘right tree in the right place’) e.g. Tree planting checklist Partnership/influence Low Improves ecology,  None Guidance developed & communicated 

by 2021

Work with tenants of County Farm’s to promote and ensure best environmental practices are upheld

 Indirect Low  Improves ecology, builds resilience,  None

Guidance created & communicated by 2021

Objective 2

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 
Protect and increase ecological value, carbon sequestration and climate resilience within Dorset Direct, indirect, partnership/influence Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, encourages economic sustainability, enhances health and wellbeing High
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target
Creation of suitable high ecological value areas on council land (incl. bee-friendly, wild flower, hedge & woodland planting zones) & areas for carbon sequestration & climate resilience Direct Medium Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing Low Plan developed 

& initiated
by 2022

Work in partnership with Lead Flood Authority and EA to develop Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUD’s) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) ensuring that drainage solutions are of high ecological value Partnership/influence Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, encourages economic sustainability None

SUDs SPD developed by 2022

Promotion of ecologically friendly gardens to residents Partnership/influence Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing Medium

Future action beyond 2023

Review all Dorset Council chemical use to ensure no harm to unintended species Direct None Improves ecology, encourages economic sustainability, enhances health and wellbeing  None
  •  Reviewed 100% of chemical use
  • improvement plan created and initiated (if required) by 2021
Continue with and further develop partnership working (e.g. Urban Heaths Partnership, Dorset Coast Forum) to maximise opportunities for joint working and external funding Partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing None Ongoing partnership working


Work with town & parish councils to promote best practice within their greenspace & communities

Partnership/influence Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing None

Guidance created & communicated by 2021

Develop strategic approach to draw together planning gains from various ecological mitigation schemes  (e.g. Biodiversity, Nitrates and Heathland schemes) to maximise the ecological benefits to Dorset

Indirect Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing None

Strategy developed
by 2023

Develop business case for large scale commercial carbon sequestration scheme within Dorset & implement scheme if feasible

Indirect Medium Improves ecology, builds resilience High

Business case
developed by 2023

Objective 3

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 

Use of various planning gains to increase ecological value,  carbon sequestration and climate resilience

Direct, indirect  Low Improves ecology, encourages economic sustainability, enhances health and wellbeing None
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target
Develop policy to ensure where ever possible additional land brought about by planning gain is managed in-house  to benefit from economies of scale and to ensure ecological value and carbon sequestration potential is maximised Direct Medium Improves ecology, encourages economic sustainability, enhances health and wellbeing  None Policy developed and agreed by 2021

Use developer contributions secured through the planning system to provide and sustain high-quality public open space that is capable of  meeting the needs of current and future residents/visitors

 Indirect  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing  None

Mechanisms agreed by 2023

Objective 4

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 
Ensure decision making around use of natural assets is based upon ecological value Indirect  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing  None
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target

Work with development management team to ensure green infrastructure advice team is involved in all relevant planning applications to ensure ecological value and recreational opportunities are fully considered

 Indirect  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing  None

Planning process amended to include liaising with Green infrastructure team by 2022

Objective 5

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 
Increased appreciation and engagement with areas of high ecological value Indirect, partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing  Medium
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target
Communicate to businesses and land owners good practice in terms of protecting and enhancing ecological value, carbon sequestration and climate resilience Partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, builds resilience
  •  Medium
  • Guidance created
  • Information communicated by 2022
Work with partners to connect fragmented habitats across the county Partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, builds resilience, enhances health and wellbeing

None

  • Fragments identified, Targets agreed
  • Plan created & initiated by 2022
Further develop and promote the health & wellbeing benefits of publicly accessible high ecological value land Partnership/influence   Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing  Medium Promotional materials created and communicated by 2021
Work in partnership with Children’s and Adult Services to identify and create opportunities for natural environment to be better utilised on social care offer Indirect  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing

None

  • Meeting held with ASC to identify opportunities 
  • Plan developed & initiated by 2021

Objective 6

Objective 1 action
ObjectiveAction typeCO2 saving potential Co-benefits Cost 
Increase accessibility of rights of way and off road routes Partnership/influence Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing  None
Actions for objective 1
ActionsAction type CO2 saving potentialCo-benefits Cost 2021-23 target
Ensure rights of way network is fully promoted and maintained to a high standard Partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing None  
  • Revise and update ROWIP
  • Reconstitute DLAF by 2022

 

Increase amount of well provisioned and well promoted off road routes Partnership/influence  Low Improves ecology, enhances health and wellbeing None  
  • Map of proposed off-road routes created
  • Plan to increase amount of off-road routes created
  • Promotional materials created & communicated by 2023

 

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