Taking inspiration from our natural habitat

People have been taking inspiration from the natural habitat since time began. Much of Yorkshires natural habitat however, fell victim during the 19th and 20th centuries to urbanisation and industrialisation, leaving behind some not so pleasant places to live and work, to say the least. 

As a result, more and more people live their lives with little or no contact with nature. This disconnect affects mental health, contributes to obesity, and even has an impact on life expectancy.

Our aim is to ensure that the value of our natural environment is integrated more effectively into the broader planning and decision-making processes.

For example, the Wildlife Trusts’ document ‘Homes for People and Wildlife’ sets out their vision for new homes that are inspiring and beautiful places to live, and where people and nature thrive together.

They suggest that to achieve this, we need a new approach that puts the natural environment at the heart of development and planning. 

The Wildlife Trust already influences thousands of planning applications every year, so that they benefit both wildlife and people. They have influenced the design of new developments like Cambourne in Cambridgeshire and Woodberry Wetlands in London. They also provide expert advice to developers at all stages of planning and construction.

A good nature-friendly development retains existing meadows, wetlands, hedgerows, trees, and woods, and joins them up with wildlife-rich gardens, verges, amenity green space, cycle paths and walkways.

The result is a network of natural green and blue corridors weaving through the development and beyond, into the surrounding urban or rural landscape and contributing to the wider ecological network.

This approach improves air quality, reduces surface water flooding, and makes developments greener and more attractive places to live. Residents have easy access to safe, beautiful, natural spaces for exercise, play and social interaction. Wildlife becomes part of everyday life.

We ask you, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could transform our industrial wastelands into places of beauty, where people and nature live and thrive together like this?

Taking inspiration from being closer to our natural habitat is a must for Yorkshire’s future, in our view.