A hundred business and community leaders came together to launch a new partnership and pledge to ensure our most precious landscapes work in harmony with the economy.
The Green Halo Partnership brings together organisations from across central southern England to protect and enhance our ‘natural capital’ - the benefits we derive from nature such as clean air and water, protection from flooding, food and healthy outdoor activities.
Architects, wildlife charities, councils, utility businesses, health bodies, universities and civil engineering firms were among around 70 organisations signing up to the partnership at the launch at Ordnance Survey, Southampton, yesterday (Wednesday, 22 November).
The partners identified a range of actions and projects which will help maintain and enhance our natural resources and so protect the unique character and identity of the New Forest and surrounding area.
New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘Companies and organisations attending the launch today have shown that working with the environment in mind has benefits now and in the future. For example, water saving measures are not only good for our environment but for a company’s bottom line; designing eco buildings is not necessarily more expensive and results in energy savings and less use of natural resources; creating communities with green space is good for wildlife but also for our health and wellbeing.
‘These organisations today have shown their commitment to creating a world class environment and world class economy here in the south.’
The conference included workshops around four themes with ideas put forward to:
Paul Stubbington, Environment Director of consulting engineering group Ramboll, said: ‘Ramboll’s largest office outside of London is located on the edge of the New Forest. This brings with it various challenges but these are outweighed by the benefits that the New Forest environment provides us, offering the staff a first class environment to work in, and demonstrating our environmental credentials in our everyday activities. Being part of the Green Halo Partnership enables us to promote the benefits of being in the New Forest as well as having an active role in the protection and enhancement of our natural capital within and around it.’
Kate Rice, Southern Water's Catchment Strategy Manager, said: ‘Protecting the environment is of the utmost importance to Southern Water. We rely on the natural environment to provide the water we supply to our customers so we need to ensure we are protecting and enhancing this important resource. Events like this are crucial in bringing everyone together to ensure we are placing a true value on nature and the benefits - such as clean water - that it provides.’
Dr Mike Short, CBE, Chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: ‘Developing and sustaining a low carbon economy is a priority item on the LEP’s strategic agenda and we are proud to have supported investments of £13.45 million in the low carbon economy and sustainable places to advance this priority. We are delighted to be supporting the Green Halo Partnership in order to enhance the value of our natural assets, drive sustainable business growth and improve the quality of life in our area.’
Gary Wilburn, Managing Director of HPW Architects, said: ‘We are proud to be founder members of the Green Halo Partnership. We are actively involved in engaging public, private and third sector businesses and organisations in developing projects which the partnership can support, guide and positively influence. As a local business we focus on sustainable solutions with context and sensitivity, and which complement the beautiful surroundings of the National Park and its wider area. We encourage you all to take an active part in helping enhance the Natural Capital in our region and beyond.’
Fran Davies, Natural England’s Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight Area Team Manager, said: ‘Natural England is a committed member of the Green Halo partnership. The aims of the Green Halo align perfectly with our Conservation Strategy and local ambition in the region. This is significant partnership opportunity and we are excited to see the projects that will emerge that protect and enhance our precious natural capital.’
Notes to Photo Editors
Caption: Business and community leaders from around the south discuss how to help nature, people and business thrive at the launch of the Green Halo Partnership at Ordnance Survey on 22 November 2017.
Notes to Editors
About the Green Halo Partnership
The Partnership brings together businesses, universities, charities and communities to ensure our world class environment in and around the New Forest National Park flourishes as an integral part of our wider area’s thriving economy and society.
The New Forest is one of Europe’s best sanctuaries for nature, situated in the busy south east of England and surrounded by Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Salisbury. Beyond the National Park’s boundaries, from Cranborne Chase to Purbeck, the South Downs to the Solent, much of this part of southern England is internationally valued because of the quality of the natural environment.
Our Partnership wants to ensure that the natural environment is seen as an integral part of how we work and live. Our ambition is not constrained by administrative boundaries, opportunities can come from all areas and all sectors in and around the National Park – hence the Green Halo.
By recognising the contribution our natural environment makes to the local economy and society and bringing together a series of actions and projects, our Partnership wants to ensure that both the National Park and its surroundings work to protect and improve that environment.
Our vision is to be a global exemplar of how our most precious landscapes can work in harmony with a thriving, economically successful community.
For details see www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/greenhalo.
Organisations represented at the Green Halo Partnership launch
Associated British Ports
Blake Morgan LLP
Bournemouth Borough Council
Boyle and Summers
Christchurch and East Dorset District Council
Country Land and Business Association Ltd
Dorset County Council
Dorset Local Nature Partnership
Eastleigh Borough Council
Enterprise M3 LEP
Fawley Waterside Ltd
Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust
Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire Rural Forum
Hanmer Management Ltd
Jonathan Cox Associates
Lambert Smith Hampton
New Forest District Council
New Forest National Park Authority
NHS West Hampshire CCG
South Downs National Park Authority
Southampton Solent University
Steve Lees Planning
Test Valley Borough Council
University of Bournemouth
University of Portsmouth