Natural Capital Investment Plan underway

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The Bedfordshire LNP, as lead in a federation of four LNPs, has been awarded a grant of £25,000 from DEFRA to develop a Natural Capital Investment Plan for the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Corridor.

The first step in the process took place recently with a workshop hosted by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). Representatives from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire were joined by government agencies and key infrastructure providers to identify existing data sets and discuss the way forward. The workshop was extremely productive and paved the way for this exciting initiative.

For more information contact Jon Balaam, Beds LNP Facilitator, on 01234 744592 or email jon.balaam@greensandtrust.org.


AGM – Monday 15th May

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The Bedfordshire LNP AGM will be taking place on Monday 15th may 2017, 2pm, venue TBC. As ever, we would like to use the AGM as an opportunity for networking and information-sharing, so if you have a project or activity you feel would be of interest to the wider LNP membership please do get in touch (jon.balaam@greensandtrust.org) – there will be opportunities for presentation slots and/or displays.

Reminder – Funding for GI Projects in Central Bedfordshire

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Please don’t forget that Central Bedfordshire Council is inviting applications for large scale green infrastructure projects that benefit new developments. Funding secured from developments (planning obligations) is available for capital projects worth £25,000 or more, and there is around £650,000 available.

Any member of the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership or Town and Parish Councils can apply for funding. Projects supported in the past have included new Country Parks, nature reserves, cycleways and Green Wheels, tree top walkways, historic parks, new woodlands and many more. Applications are open now, and will close on the 7th April. If you would like more information, or a guidance and application pack, contact Laura Kitson at Central Bedfordshire Council (laura.kitson@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk).

Funding opportunity for green spaces and communities

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Tesco’s Bags of Help grants scheme, administered by Groundwork, award grants to voluntary or community organisations (including registered charities/companies), schools, Parish/Town Councils and local authorities, health bodies (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Hospital Trust, Foundation Trust), and social housing providers. (This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of organisations that will be funded.)

The Bags of Help scheme is now permanently open for applications. As well as physical improvements of open spaces – such as building new pocket parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens – projects can now include volunteer training, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities.

Following a public vote, three projects in each region will receive a grant each month, with first place receiving up to £5,000, second place up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000. Please note the maximum amount you can now apply for is £5,000. Previously awarded grants are unaffected by these changes to the scheme.

Find out more: Bags of Help

Welcome to the new Chairman

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We would like to welcome Professor Paul Leinster CBE as the new Chairman of Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership.

Paul has been Professor of Environmental Assessment at Cranfield since October 2015. His research and strategic consultancy interests include the monitoring, assessment and control of emissions and discharges that affect air, water and land quality and impact on people and the environment.

He is a member of the government’s Natural Capital Committee, is a member of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s Advisory Committee and the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Strategic Advisory Board. He is a non-executive director of Flood Re, of a consultancy providing specialist product safety and regulatory compliance services and of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, and provides advice to a number of public and private sector organisations.

Through his current role at Cranfield University, Paul has forged links with local businesses, academic institutions, statutory bodies and public sector organisations across Bedfordshire. Paul is keen to connect people with environmental issues whilst working in partnership with business, local authorities and academic institutions to consider what is happening at a national level and apply this in Bedfordshire. He would like to learn from the LNP and explore what can be delivered in practice working partnership with other LNPs.

Call for nominations for Chairperson and vice-chairperson

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Vacancy – Chairperson of Bedfordshire LNP

A unique opportunity for a charismatic Chairperson to lead the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership Board.  

Our current Chairman, Jon Balaam, is due to step-down as Chair at the AGM in May. We are now looking for nominations for a leader to build upon the foundations of the LNP and continue to move it forward over the next three years.

The Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership is governed by a Board of high-level thinkers and advocates drawn from various sectors who lead our strategy. We are currently seeking a new Chair to provide strategic leadership for the Partnership and to act as a figurehead in influencing key stakeholders.

If you have a strong commitment to Bedfordshire’s natural environment; a track record in operating successfully at a senior level; and excellent communication and interpersonal skills this could be the volunteer opportunity for you.

We are also looking for a Vice-Chairperson

The Vice-Chairperson will work with the Board to support the Chairperson and lead the LNP.

The Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership brings together all those interested in protecting and enhancing our natural environment for the benefit of people, wildlife and businesses. Our aim is for a county richer in nature. If you have a strong interest in Bedfordshire’s natural environment; a track record of operating successfully at a senior level; and excellent communication and interpersonal skills this could be the volunteer opportunity for you.

Time commitment

The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson would each need to allocate around 12 days per year to these voluntary roles and the work of the Partnership, including Board meetings every quarter.

Board members are expected to serve a three year term.

Are you interested?

If you are interested in the role of Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson please contact Jon Balaam, current Chairman, for an informal discussion 01234 743666. Or you can talk to any of the Board members, please ask for contact details.

Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson will be elected at the AGM.

The deadline for nominations for the 2016 AGM is Monday 9th May, using the form available from Alexe.Rose@greensandtrust.org

Living Countryside Awards

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CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Bedfordshire host Living Countryside Awards annually to recognize the great contributions made by people and projects to enhance the county’s countryside and develop urban green spaces – each year sees some exciting new initiatives taking place across Bedfordshire.

For further information please visit CPRE Beds.

Consultation on Central Bedfordshire Council’s Environmental Framework

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Central Bedfordshire Council is consulting on its Environmental Framework. This document brings together various studies, assessments, strategies and guidance relating to the environment. It explores the policy context and explains the local evidence base, and we are using this consultation to explore how these should be translated into policies in Central Bedfordshire Council’s new Local Plan.

As an organisation that is involved in the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership, we would like to draw your attention to this consultation, which will run until the 19th April 2016. Please do pass it onto other colleagues within your organisation if it is of interest to them.

The Environmental Framework with the consultation questionnaire are available here: Environmental Framework questionnaire

Do get in contact by email to environmental.policy@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Spring Symposium

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The Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership is holding a ‘Spring Symposium’ on

March 23rd, from 10.00-1.00

at the Forest Centre, Marston Moreteyne,

which will include presentations on many of our activities and updates from some of our neighbouring Catchment Partnerships.  This will be a great opportunity for people to hear more about our work, so please do spread the message far and wide.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact Cliff Andrews at BRCC, our Catchment Partnership Host, at ubocp@bedsrcc.org.uk or cliffa@bedsrcc.org.uk

The Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership has had a very productive year, including: welcoming new members, developing our website, updating our Vision and Objectives, holding community engagement events, contributing and commenting on EA plans and strategies, producing a funding strategy;  and delivering a number of river restoration projects.

We are also busy planning a series of training events (indoors and on site) aimed at inspiring local residents to become involved in the care of our watercourses.  Details of these sessions can be found at: http://ubocp.org.uk/news/ – again, please circulate this information to any groups or individuals you feel may be interested.

Luton Lea Catchment Partnership update

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The Luton Lea Catchment Partnership continues to meet regularly and to prioritise community engagement opportunities, reviewing and commenting on developments within the town affecting the river, and the delivery of projects by partners including water initiatives delivered by Affinity Water and Thames Water.

The Catchment Partnership continues to promote the river to local residents and will have presence at key events in the town including Luton Carnival and Lewsey Fair.

Projects underway with funding secured from Thames Water CIF and Environment Agency include:-

  • SuDS at Lewsey Park – Lewsey Park gives the best opportunity for improvement in terms of physical space required, access and impact to the site including wider flooding issues.  A specialist company is providing a proposal for the potential installation of a hydrodynamic separator, and Groundwork will then develop the associated SuDS, green element of the programme and oversee the physical site investigation.
  • Junior River Wardens – part of a wider volunteer monitoring scheme for the river.  The project will engage schools and youth/uniformed groups to take part in an initial two year monitoring programme.  Training and resources will be provided and will look to focus on monitoring invasive and non-native species, litter and pollution monitoring.
  • Rivers and Wagtails – led by University of Bedfordshire, this is a community and education project to create written and drawn art inspired by the Lea.  Luton residents have attended poetry workshops to discuss their memories of the river and schools are to  be taken to the river to inspire artwork and poetry writing.

Visit the Catchment Partnership’s website for more information – http://www.riverleacatchment.org.uk/index.php/luton-lea-about-us/the-luton-lea-partnership

Contact us

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    The Greensand Trust
    The Working Woodlands Centre
    Maulden Wood
    Haynes West End
    Bedfordshire, MK45 3UZ

    T: 01234 744592
    M: 07904 310833
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