Environment and Climate Change

One of the county’s greatest assets is its natural environment with two thirds of the county falling within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Some towns have benefited from regeneration schemes and Conservation Areas and a good quality local environment can help improve health, reduce crime and contribute to our economy. The County has already experienced water shortages, heat waves, intense winter storms and flooding. Climate change will increase the frequency, severity and cost of such events and could have devastating social and economic impacts. We therefore need to encourage people and organisations to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, as well as adapting to climate change.

Our priority is to protect and enhance our natural and built environment for current and future generations, and enable individuals and organisations to tackle and adapt to climate change.

Our key tasks are to:

  • Develop high quality environments in our towns and villages.
  • Reduce traffic, increase alternative sustainable travel choices and improve air quality.
  • Increase green spaces, leisure opportunities and visitor facilities, and make best use of our natural assets.
  • Prepare for the effects of climate change, manage the risks and make the most of the opportunities.
  • Encourage individuals and organisations to minimise their water consumption, CO2 emissions and overall environmental impact.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle more household, business and industrial waste.
  • Ensure climate change is a strategic consideration of Local Development Frameworks and other planning policies.
  • Improve streets and green spaces so that places are safer.