Call to make Sheffield City Region known for 'outstanding' environment

The Peak District
The Peak District
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The environment is a key part of Sheffield City Region's success, according to a new action plan for the area.

A 'green regional network' is one of six points included in a vision document called 'A Better Future Together', launched by health and education leaders last week.

Liz Ballard

Liz Ballard

The report calls for a region-wide environmental strategy that makes the case for an ‘urban national park’, connecting the Peak District, Sherwood Forest, Dearne Valley and the South Yorkshire Forest.

It highlights the need to co-ordinate resources and efforts to invest in 'outstanding' natural assets across the region.

It suggests making 'green networks' such as footpaths and cycle routes bigger so they connect the whole region and form part of a 'healthy living agenda'.

The report calls for better access to and use of rivers and canals, along with new roles for river and canal corridors such as fitness and digital connectivity.

The launch of the Sheffield City Region vision.

The launch of the Sheffield City Region vision.

It makes tackling air quality and providing new place spaces a priority.

And it calls for expansion of urban forestry and biodiversity projects.

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The vision was welcomed by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust chief executive Liz Ballard, who called the it a ‘very positive document’.

"It talks about the region being known for its quality of life, and who could argue with that? What a really great ambition to have.

"It talks specifically about fantastic environmental stewardship, which is something we are always campaigning for.

"It talks about something that's good for society, the environment and the economy. It's balancing all those areas in this vision, which is really positive."

Ms Ballard was particularly impressed with the mention of an urban national park - something the trust has talked about independently.

“It’s great to have a discussion over what an urban national park might mean,” she said.

And the link between a strong natural environment, improved health and wellbeing and a better economy was also welcomed.

“We all feel better when we have a great outdoor experience," said Ms Ballard.