Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is the 'network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect places'.

Our urban green infrastructure includes a network of woodlands, street trees, parks, gardens, road verges, allotments, cemeteries, amenity greenspaces, and blue infrastructure such as rivers and canals, much of which is accessible to the public.

Green infrastructure in the countryside and uplands surrounding around our towns includes a network of mountain, moorland and heath, semi-natural grassland and woodland, forestry plantation and farmland habitats.

These features are termed Green Infrastructure Assets and have a role to play in supporting biodiversity and delivering health, social, economic and cultural benefits.

Green infrastructure provides essential “life-support services” for sustaining people’s well-being, from food, fuel, clean air and water and regulation of flooding, to green spaces for escape, play and relaxation.

Well designed and managed Green Infrastructure can also help us adapt to climate change, reverse the decline in biodiversity, support health and well-being and encourage sustainable economic development.

Our trees and woodlands store and take up carbon, provide shade and shelter as well as providing habitats for wildlife.

Linear landscape features such as river corridors and hedgerows are particularly important as they provide ecological corridors for the dispersal of wildlife.

Connecting green spaces and places via a network of sustainable walking and cycling routes along green corridors encourages healthy living and opportunities for people to experience nature.

Torfaen’s Green Infrastructure Network is extensive and generally well-connected, much of which is publicly accessible.

At the local level, particularly in and around Torfaen’s towns, there are place-specific opportunities to strengthen the quality, connectivity and accessibility of the green infrastructure network.

Where maintained and managed in a healthy condition, our green and blue infrastructure can offer multiple benefits for helping alleviate social, economic and environmental challenges.

Public Service Board Green Infrastructure Strategy

The Torfaen Public Services Board commissioned a Green Infrastructure Strategy which provides a shared strategic framework or "big picture" for developing this functional, connected network of natural areas that supports the current and future well-being needs of local populations in Torfaen (objective 1 of the Well-being Plan).

The strategy outlines the principles, priorities and opportunities for strengthening the resilience and connectivity of Torfaen’s Green Infrastructure Network.

You can download a copy of the Green Infrastructure Strategy here.

For more information contact Henrietta Lucas, Senior Landscape Officer, Torfaen County Borough Council.

Torfaen Tree Strategy

Why trees are important?

Trees provide society with a variety of beneficial services, also known as ecosystem services. These benefits include carbon storage, encouraging nature, flood mitigation or just providing a soft green backdrop to our urban and rural landscapes. Trees are one of the most visible attributes of our green infrastructure. So, in a time of climate and nature emergencies the management, protection and enhancement of trees and woodlands is an important consideration.

Trees in Torfaen

Torfaen is characterised by its trees and woodland. The steep sided river valley of the north of the county borough is framed by ancient woodland and modern stands of commercial conifer plantations. To the south the setting is more of hedgerows, urban woodland, street and parkland trees.

An urban tree canopy report produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) considers Torfaen to be the most canopied county in Wales.

Why do we need a Torfaen Tree Strategy?

Trees play an important part in our environment and the local authority, whether through the management of trees on public land or through the planning system for example must ensure tree related decisions are made in a positive and consistent way.

Torfaen Tree Strategy

This Torfaen Tree Strategy is the first document to capture tree responsibilities across the whole of the local authority.  It sets out how tree risk will be managed and suggests measures to help protect and enhance trees now and for future generations.   

The Biodiversity & Resilience of Ecosystems Duty (Section 6) - Reporting Requirement

The Section 6 report sets out Torfaen County Borough Council’s three yearly reporting obligation for 2020-22 as required under section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, otherwise known as the public bodies’ biodiversity duty and resilience of ecosystems duty or the S6 duty. The report format follows Welsh Government guidance and outlines the local authority’s contribution to the six objectives of the national Nature Recovery Action Plan (NRAP) 2020.

This is the second three yearly compliance report and includes contributions from a broad range of Council officers on how each of their departments are contributing towards our Section 6 Duty and what they are doing to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem resilience across the borough. 

Download a copy of The Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems Duty Report 2020-2022 here.

Last Modified: 22/05/2023
For more information contact:

Senior Landscape Officer
Tel: 01633 648045

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