River Nene Regional Park

The River Nene Regional Park is a partnership which drives the environmental and green infrastructure agenda in Northamptonshire. It operates within the East Midlands and nationally in an advisory capacity.

River Nene Regional Park has recently launched ‘Creating Successful Green Infrastructure Plans – Best Practice form the East Midlands and the River Nene Regional Park, Sept 2007’. This is a unique practice guide, which sets out the exemplar approach and methodology for the hierarchy of GI strategies undertaken in the East Midlands Region and in Northamptonshire: regionally, sub-regionally and locally.

The widespread interest across the UK for the RNRP’s innovative GI approach means that the guide will be of great use for commissioning bodies. GI is spreading from growth areas, to the new growth points and to other ‘non-growth’ areas of the country and forward thinking organisations are seeing the opportunities that this proactive investment in the environment can bring.

The guidance recognises the benefits of GI not only in terms of environmental benefits, but also proven social and economic benefits. GI has a huge role to play in bringing about multi-functional holistic solutions to pressing environmental concerns, such as climate change. Integral with the planning and development process, the environment can support urban and rural populations in a much more holistic way, providing food, energy, water supply and waste treatment.

Delivery of GI projects on the ground is well underway and projects such as the Tree Top Way at Salcey Forest are setting the standard of design quality. Through the enabling programme Cabe Space has supported RNRP generally and as part of the Sustainable Communities Plan Growth Area Fund 2 (GAF2) CABE has given design advice to a number of RNRP GI projects. The enablers leading on the GAF2 advice have been Helen Neve of Land Management Services and Dominic Cole of LUC.