Five years from its original adoption, Lib Dems on Cornwall Council have today (23rd February 2021) approved the next phase of their Environmental Growth Strategy for Cornwall.
The refresh builds upon significant local action for safeguarding and stewarding our natural environment. The strategy also sets out in further detail how partners across Cornwall will work together to deliver the goal to grow nature set out in Gyllyn Warbarth: Together We Can, The Cornwall Plan 2020-50.
Since 2017 Lib Dems on Cornwall Council have:
- achieved a 4.2% increase in recycling - equivalent to an extra 3,000 tonnes of household waste being reused, protecting our planet’s precious resources
- cut 100% of our plastic milk bottles, 93% of cling film, 75% of single use coffee cups and plastic cutlery – and by sourcing alternative products, our cleaners have used 7800 fewer plastic bottles
- brought an extra 2.5% of land in Cornwall into active management for environmental gain, meaning we are now growing nature on an extra 10,000 hectares of land - including greening over 40 hectares of urban spaces in seven towns across Cornwall through our Making Space for Nature scheme
- been nationally recognised for its success in growing nature as one of only five councils chosen by Government to pilot Nature Recovery Strategies
- achieved blue flag status and seaside awards for eight beaches in Cornwall
- invested in flood prevention schemes such as St Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration, and led the emergency response to help our communities recover swiftly from major floods e.g. the 2018 Coverack floods
The Environmental Growth Strategy Refresh will:
- Develop and deliver a Local Nature Recovery Plan - encourage landscape-scale restoration and reintroduction of species, help tackle invasive species, and embed environmental growth and biodiversity net-gain in the planning system.
- Enhance our Marine Protected Areas, increase the sustainability of local fisheries, tackle sources of pollution (such as plastics, chemicals and sewage), and pioneer marine rewilding.
- Support the use of new land management approaches to develop climate solutions that work with natural processes.
- Tackle inequalities in access and health by enabling better access to the countryside, volunteer opportunities, farm visits, and better designed and numerous green public spaces.
- Support the delivery of the Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy to tackle air pollution.
- Enhance fresh and bathing water quality.
- Create a more circular economy – including improving recycling rates, sustainable production of natural resources, and tackling pollution and food waste.
- Support local farmers and landowners to deliver nature recovery, promote local producers, champion pollinator-friendly practices, food & seed security; and encourage regenerative, low input and organic local production, good soil-management, and agroforestry.
- Create training for green jobs to ensure we have the skills and capabilities needed to restore nature.
- Set up an Environment Centre to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to work together to increase environmental, social and economic prosperity.
- Tackle environmental health hazards and support green social prescribing to for better mental and physical health.
Rob Nolan, Lib Dem Portfolio holder for Environment & Public Protection at Cornwall Council said:
“From towans to tors, marshland to moorland, and our iconic Cornish hedges – nature is central to Cornwall’s identity and heritage. There is much to be proud of about what has been collectively achieved across Cornwall so far through schemes such as Forest for Cornwall or our Making Space for Nature scheme – this Council has certainly not shied away from significant action.
“But there remains much to be done to face up to the scale of the ecological crisis. The evidence shows that wildlife globally, nationally and locally remains in decline – and that risks being worsened by climate change. This strategy remains a vital local framework to help us reverse that. A cleaner, greener Cornwall with more space for nature is at the heart of that vision’s ambition to be leading in sustainable living for the wellbeing of future generations.”