Essex green infrastructure strategy

Green infrastructures include:

  • open spaces such as parks and playing fields
  • coastal habitats, lakes, ponds and rivers
  • woodlands and fields
  • allotments and gardens
  • footpaths, bridleways and cycleways

This brings many social, economic and environmental benefits, including:

  • places to relax and play outdoors
  • space and habitat for wildlife, with access to nature for people
  • adapting to and mitigating climate change, such as managing floods and air pollution
  • environmental education
  • local food production, in allotments and gardens, and through agriculture
  • improved health and wellbeing, lowering stress levels and giving opportunities for exercise
  • enhancing and protecting biodiversity

Our green infrastructure strategy

Our strategy enables us to:

  • protect, create, and improve green infrastructure for biodiversity and people
  • improve connectivity and inclusivity, by supporting healthier, more active lifestyles
  • contribute to economic growth

The strategy also helps us:

  • gather evidence about the benefits of our existing green infrastructure
  • improve the quality of green space in Essex
  • explore the role of green infrastructure in planning (local plans)
  • manage open spaces alongside urban growth
  • undertake more green infrastructure projects, making Essex a better place to live

You can read the full Essex Green Infrastructure Strategy (PDF, 14.25mB) and supporting documents:

Green infrastructure mapping

Our strategy is informed by the spatial analysis of the green infrastructure provision for Greater Essex. A visual and interactive summary of this analysis is available to view, called the Green Essex Story Map.

The mapping shows:

  • the distribution of green infrastructure assets across Greater Essex
  • the number of functions performed by these assets and the benefits they provide to the local populations
  • associations between green infrastructure provision in neighbourhoods and socio-economic characteristics of their resident populations
  • the prevalence of current green infrastructure assets in the vicinity of proposed sites for future housing and economic development

The Green Essex Story Map improves access to data for researchers and analysts.

The School of Environmental Sciences at University of East Anglia completed the research and analysis. Assisted by Essex County Council and Places Services.

This study was made possible by the support of the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Guidance for professionals

We have outlined nine principles and standards for strengthening the delivery of green infrastructures in Essex.

Find out about our Essex Green Infrastructure Standards guidance.