This section describes how the council will meet its policy commitments to address the environmental emergency with regards biodiversity, and how it will realise the relevant parts of the Vision.
The strategic objectives are:
Develop a Nature Recovery Network (NRN) in the city to bring about a sustained recovery in biodiversity. The city’s NRN shall be part of the national NRN as set out in the new Environment Act, the proposed aims of which are summarised in Appendix section 1.4.
Norwich’s NRN shall:
a. Identify, connect, protect, create and enhance diverse blue and green habitats, in order to promote species recovery ;
b. Recognise the potential habitat value of all non-built space as well as potential habitats which may exist within the curtilage of buildings;
c. Consist of nature cores such as existing wildlife sites and parkland, connected by nature corridors which may take the form of designated parts of the city including streets, green spaces on and around buildings and highway verges. Opportunities to create stepping stones within the network will be sought in the form of smaller green spaces in the built environment, such as back gardens and smaller green areas , and
d. Norwich’s NRN will be significantly complete and increase species diversity and abundance by 2030.
The NRN shall be enabled by, or comprise, the following elements:
e. The Greater Norwich Green Infrastructure Strategy which shall be a principal driver of the NRN in the Greater Norwich Area;
f. The national NRN may, when details become known, require change to the requirements of the city’s NRN to ensure alignment. It is acknowledged that implementation of the National NRN is a duty of Norfolk County Council;
g. Local Nature Recovery Strategies, Species Conservation Strategies and other mechanisms of the New Environment Act, to establish species and place-based priorities;
h. Nature assets owned and/or managed by partner organisations such as nature reserves;
i. A significant portion of the parks, open spaces and undeveloped land owned and managed by the Council;
j. Existing buildings owned and managed by the Council with regards the potential for green roofs, balconies and green areas adjacent to buildings;
k. Existing buildings owned and managed by commercial entities, contributing on a voluntary basis, with regards the potential for green roofs, balconies and green areas adjacent to buildings;
l. Existing buildings owned and managed by members of the public, contributing on a voluntary basis, with regards the potential for green roofs, balconies, back gardens and green areas adjacent to buildings, and
m. New developments providing at least 10% biodiversity net gain, through either onsite or offsite arrangements.
Apply evidence and science-based approaches to improving biodiversity, by:
a. Establishing measurable key indicators using methodologies which are supported by recognised science;
b. Recording biodiversity baselines and subsequent ecology change using surveys and recognised methodologies, to measure the success of this Strategy and related activity, and to inform the evolution of future iterations of this Strategy;
c. Promoting sustainable ecosystems through recognised ecology theory and practice whilst also enabling innovation, and by recognising the need for ecology to adapt to climate change, and
d. Developing approaches which minimise the impacts of climate change.
This objective is informed, in part, by the guidance set out in Appendix D of DEFRA’s Measuring environmental change: outcome indicator framework the 25 Year Environment Plan
In the planning, development and maintenance of the NRN, the Council shall seek to:
a. Create new policies and strategies as necessary to deliver the NRN and meet new statutory requirements such as realising at least 10% biodiversity net gain in new developments ;
b. Achieve savings and develop revenue streams aligned with biodiversity improvement, such as through nature-based solution offerings and off-site biodiversity net gain arrangements for new development;
c. Reduce negative impacts on biodiversity through measures relating to the design and operation of its buildings and other assets;
d. Reduce negative impacts on biodiversity through measures relating to how the council procures goods and services;
e. Reduce heat, drought, flood risk and improve air and water quality, though biodiversity improvement schemes and nature-based solutions;
f. Improve wellbeing through improved access to nature;
g. Create educational opportunities
h. Produce food, albeit with the emphasis on biodiversity improvement
i. Enhance tourism and improve visitor experience;
j. Grow the green economy with regards promoting biodiversity and ensuring alignment between this strategy and strategies and plans for economic growth;
k. Deliver our policy commitments, plans and the relevant sections of the Vision in relation to this Strategy and Development Plan;
l. Act as Leader to co-create opportunity and coordinate action and external funding and investment, by proactively and collaboratively engaging with partners and interested parties, and
m. Manage financial decisions associated with Norwich City Council’s NRN in line with our Corporate Plan priorities and internal planning processes.
A Biodiversity Development Plan will be produced setting out how each of these objectives will be realised.