Bigger and Better - How Minerals Local Plans can help give nature a home at a landscape-scale in the Trent and Tame River Valleys

With a vision for the Trent and Tame River Valleys becoming one of Britain’s greatest wetlands, ‘providing a wetland artery for wildlife from source to sea’, this new publication seeks to influence the developing Minerals Local Plans that cover the Trent and Tame as well as the land-use decisions and management activities of all stakeholders that affect this area.

Bigger and Better highlights the huge scale of opportunity provided by minerals planning and mineral site restoration along the Trent and Tame River Valleys to help realise this vision; a significant part of this opportunity lies within the Central Rivers Initiative. Specifically, it calls for a strategic, co-ordinated and landscape-scale approach to wetland habitat creation through mineral site restoration, across the six relevant Mineral Planning Authority boundaries.

Whilst acknowledging the value of small-scale wetland features to many species, this document promotes the creation of bigger wetlands (>100ha) in order to sustain healthy populations of wetland species; create habitats which are more resilient to climate change; and sites that are likely to attract a variety of newly-colonising species. It also looks to the creation of better wetlands of high quality in terms of design, long-term management and connectivity to other wetland habitats and features.

It is intended that the Bigger and Better document will be referred to in all of the six relevant Minerals Local Plans and will help the Minerals Planning Authorities to set appropriate objectives, policies and supporting text which will enable the delivery of the vision.

The publication of Bigger and Better coincides with the public consultation on The new Minerals Local Plan for Staffordshire (2015–2030), Final Draft-June 2015. This Plan identifies allocations of land in Staffordshire for mineral working and includes planning policies that will be used to determine planning applications for mineral development following the adoption of the new Plan. This consultation presents an important opportunity to ensure that the planning policies within this Plan reflect the advice and approach to minerals planning and restoration contained within Bigger and Better and thereby help to deliver the vision and aims of the Central Rivers Initiative.

Produced by the RSPB, this document is the culmination of discussions with, and is supported by, a number of environmental organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts, Trent Rivers Trust and the Central Rivers Initiative.

Bigger and Better can be accessed from the Downloads section on this website or through the following web link:

 

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