New research puts huge value on South Hampshire’s countryside
Jun 22, 2020 —
We have an important update for you on our campaign for a South Hampshire Green Belt.
Last year, CPRE Hampshire commissioned independent research by NEF Consulting, part of UK think tank the New Economics Foundation, to explore the social, economic and environmental value of the countryside in South Hampshire.
It's the area where we're campaigning for a new Green Belt to prevent urban sprawl and is part of our strategic vision for the county.
Today, we're announcing the findings of this major piece of research and we wanted you to be one of the first to know.
The findings resonate with all of us, particularly during these times of lockdown when there’s been a surge of appreciation for the countryside and an awareness of the role that green spaces and nature play in our wellbeing. We’re realising the value of the countryside nearest to our homes.
Also, importantly, they are relevant to any area of countryside or green space and are based on the large body of evidence from UK and international research.
£26 million a year or half a billion pounds over two generations - the value of the countryside in South Hampshire
NEF Consulting's report focuses on the potential benefits to health and wellbeing, the economy, and the value of nature and ecosystems*.
The research finds that the countryside north of the urban centres of South Hampshire could generate almost £26 million a year in terms of health, wellbeing, economic and ecosystem benefits if protected by a Green Belt.
Looking ahead over two generations or the next 60 years, if Net Present Value (NPV) is applied to the annual figures, this could produce well in excess of half a billion pounds in health, wellbeing, economic and ecosystem benefits.
* Ecosystem services - services providing food, improving air quality, removing pollution, flood protection, biodiversity and helping tackle climate change.
What happens next?
We’ve shared the report with our local authority decision-makers at the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) and are asking for a meeting to discuss the findings.
We want our decision-makers to make sure that the value of our countryside, as set out in the report, is retained by the protection of a Green Belt - the only effective legislation currently available to prevent urban sprawl.
You can find out more and read the report on our website (link below).
Like you, over 13,500 people feel strongly about protecting our countryside and have supported our campaign for a Green Belt for South Hampshire. It would make a real difference if you could also follow us on any of our social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and then share our campaign posts with your friends, families and networks.
Thank you so much for your support. We need your help to protect South Hampshire’s countryside and achieve a Green Belt.
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