A smart, healthy city – fit for the future

Natural environment – clean, green and cared for

Protecting our green spaces, natural environment and city and rural trees is crucial for improving air quality, reducing climate emissions and protecting quality of life in York for current and future generations – not to mention helping to protect our homes, businesses and streets from future flooding. There is very widespread agreement that access to nature improves our overall health and is therapeutic for people with mental health problems.

We will:

  • Prioritise Supplementary Planning Guidance on green infrastructure and open spaces including policies on protecting green spaces in the city centre and increasing the amount of tree cover in York.
  • Ensure that protection of Council owned trees and green spaces is part of the Council’s Asset Management Strategy and fully taken into account when any Council buildings or land are considered for sale.
  • Extend the Council’s current policy on the Management of Public Trees into a comprehensive Tree Strategy for the city (covering public and private trees). This should be developed in partnership with Treemendous York, York Tree Wardens and others in order to reach and exceed the current target of 50,000 new trees in York.
  • Invest in an annual Green Spaces Fund to provide more consistent funding for community involvement in local green spaces and initiatives that encourage people to engage with nature and with each other.
  • Ensure York’s Biodiversity Audit is kept up to date and used as a reference point on a regular basis.
  • Invest in support for the city’s parks including the restoration of park rangers and the locking of parks at night if local residents want it.
  • Work to ensure that all green spaces in the city have appropriate litter, recycling and dog bins and cleansing services to keep them clean and encourage use by residents.
  • Review the use of glyphosate by the Council for weed control and trial alternatives. Recent scientific reports have confirmed fears about the impacts of glyphosate on health and other councils have switched to alternative systems.
  • Look again at how the Council can actively support the development and use of allotments in the city, working with York Allotments CIO, parish councils, independent allotment associations, allotment holders and residents.

Askham Bog

York City Walls

Tansy Beetle

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