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Norfolk could be set for a new country park

Norfolk County Council, 10 May 2023 00:00

A new country park could be on the way for Norfolk as part of the county council's commitment to plant 1 million trees over five years.

Councillors will hear an update next week on the success so far of the 1 Million Trees for Norfolk project, with 250,000 already in the ground. To meet the ambitious target members are set to consider proposals that could see a large new woodland area created, and opened to the public.

Cllr James Bensly, Chair of the Infrastructure and Development Select Committee, said: "The exciting proposal to create a new country park fits well with our ongoing Greenways to Greenspaces project that's opening up access to nature to many more residents and visitors to our beautiful county. I look forward to being able to consider the details and discuss this proposal with fellow councillors."

A report to be considered next week outlines a proposal for the county council to buy land to plant 500,000 trees over the next two planting seasons. It's estimated that 333 hectares would be needed to provide enough space for planting on the scale required, however this may not all be in one single location. Sustainable transport links would be needed, and no locations have been chosen as yet.

The report will be discussed at the Infrastructure and Development Select Committee meeting on Wednesday 17 May. Members of the committee are being asked to comment on the proposal before it is considered by Cabinet at a later date.

View the agenda and reports for the meeting.

Further information

As part of the 1 Million Trees for Norfolk project the county council engaged the UEA School of Environmental Science to scope locations in Norfolk which could be suitable for tree planting. The results of that work are available in the report to be considered by councillors.

Evidence from Natural England shows that the NHS could save over £2 billion in treatment costs if everyone in England had equal access to good quality green space. 63% of the population visit woodlands each year, and a record 218 million visits were made to the Public Forest Estate in 2020 - showing the importance of natural spaces to so many throughout England.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:45

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