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Leader's blog - 5 October 2022

Published: Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

"At this week’s Environment Committee (Tuesday, October 4), we considered the council’s new Canals Strategy.

We’re fortunate to have a network of canals within our district, with the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal running from Hardwicke to Sharpness, and the two Cotswold Canals that come from Saul to Stroud, and then on to Chalford.

The new strategy takes a look at the character of each part of the canal, including the land alongside the waterway, and what it can offer – sometimes for people, living and working, but in places just for nature. Our canals and canal-side land host some of the most special ecology in the country, and this network of waterway habitat is something we need to protect and enhance. During the consultation process, we received detailed and helpful feedback on the draft strategy. I hope those who commented will be pleased to see how the final version has been improved to reflect their feedback.

This week’s committee meeting also considered the Habitat Mitigation Strategies for our most highly protected nature reserves: Rodborough Common and the Cotswold Beechwoods. Because they are beautiful and special, these sites attract a lot of visitors, and all those feet (and dogs!) can have an impact on the natural habitat. These new strategies allow the council and its partners to raise money from nearby housing developments, and use it on projects to help protect and conserve these sites’ unique ecology.

Lastly, an update from our important walking & cycling work, helping people avoid using the car. Funding from our capital budget has been approved for local projects in Nailsworth, including a bike pump station, cycle storage and street closures for the weekly markets. Costs are also being finalised for active travel projects in Stonehouse, Wotton-under-Edge, Eastington, and Brimscombe. And we’ve got a walking and cycling event for Parish Councils and local cycling groups on the way in the autumn, in partnership with Active Gloucestershire."

This week's Leader's blog has been guest written by Cllr Chloe Turner, chair of Environment Committee.

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