National land management charity, the Land Trust, believes that engaging with the general public on how they want green spaces to be managed, will be key to the success of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
Responding to Defra’s consultation on Environmental Land Management schemes, the Land Trust’s Director of Portfolio Management, Alan Carter, said: “It is essential if the ambitions of the 25 year Environment Plan are to be realised that the general public is further engaged with rural land management, understand how our landscapes are managed and why.
“The Land Trust is a leading land manager of country parks, SANGS, formal parks and open spaces in an urban and peri-urban setting and our experience shows that as a local community becomes more engaged with, and feels more responsible for, an area of open space they are much more likely to feel an emotional attachment, value the area and treat the area with respect.
“We would therefore like to see more opportunities to engage the public with the outcomes of the schemes through greater managed access to the countryside via support for educational access and potentially options that support the management and creation of country parks.
“Renewed and increased access for the public to the countryside and to areas that are supported by the Environmental Land Management scheme is of great importance so that the public can see how their money is being spent and what it is providing. If the new system can bring in this level of local inclusion it will reap the benefits and deliver significant social and economic value.”