Last week, we attended a meeting at Bracknell Forest Council about the borough-wide green infrastructure plan. The plan, and meetings like this, will help various groups work together to ensure that changes across the borough benefit nature.
The underlying concept is that everything from birds to insects needs corridors of green (e.g. trees and grassland) or blue (e.g. ponds and streams) to move about.
If you look at an aerial picture of Bracknell you can see how green it is. You’ll also notice that there are a series of green corridors radiating out from the town centre like spokes from a wheel. In many cases these follow the routes of old lanes or rivers and streams. If you look for South Hill Park in an aerial photograph you can trace one of these green corridors leading from The Lookout via South Hill Park and Mill Pond to Twin Bridges roundabout. This particular green corridor is made up of woods, fields, ponds, parkland, tree-lined paths and roads and gardens.
One of the things that the plan will help us do is spot some of the breaks in these spokes and fill them in. We can trace a green corridor down the western edge of Binfield parish from Billingbear via Wicks Green, Foxley Lane, Murrell Hill Lane, Amen Corner South, and on to Peacock Meadow and Big Wood (on the opposite side of the A329). As developments happen in Amen Corner South the green infrastructure plan will allow BFC’s planners to identify woods and open land to be maintained and to encourage developers to plant trees or open up grassland to plug the gaps.
Another thing that the plan does is help us work out what we might do to improve the range and abundance of nature that calls Binfield home, and to improve our enjoyment of that nature. Despite the fact that the northern half of the parish is in the green belt it is actually relatively poor in terms of the range of habitat types and their value in biodiversity terms. There are also relatively few paths and tracks on which to explore it. The more developed southern half of the parish actually contains some of the more biodiverse areas from Farley and Wykery copse to Piglittle Meadow.
My conclusion is that we should look for opportunities to work with neighbouring parishes and boroughs to plant trees / hedges in places that help connect up green areas. We should also enjoy the great natural assets we have in the south of the parish and look for opportunities to enhance it.