The National Infrastructure Commission recently led the development of the ‘Growth Arc’ to deliver a million new homes and corresponding jobs along the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor.
The Wildlife Trusts believe in a future where nature is a normal part of our everyday lives and where wildlife thrives across the landscape. The Wildlife Trusts raised concerns about the potential adverse impacts of the corridor’s growth on the local environment, and initiated the development of its own nature-led vision to gain support from key decision-makers.
Based on previous masterplan projects where we had worked with the Wildlife Trust, the Useful Simple Trust was approached to help build the vision and case for green infrastructure to be a priority for investment. We worked with the Wildlife Trusts within the corridor to develop a vision based on their campaign for the establishment of nature recovery networks.
We helped conceive the vision called “100 Miles Wilder”, a landscape in which people will live, work and visit. It presents a new way of thinking about how places should be planned, with nature and people’s well-being at the centre. The concept was underpinned by research to quantify the benefits of investment from health and well-being to flood resilience, and ecosystems services. This was used to develop the business case (based on Green Book principles) and planning framework which could enable the delivery of “100 Miles Wilder”.