We regard access to open green spaces close to where people live as vital to our mental and physical well-being. Nearness to users means a reduced carbon footprint and trees (open spaces are often woodland) help reduce the harmful effects of global warming.
Our smallest open spaces, pocket parks, often created by local community effort, can make a huge difference to our quality of life, bringing us closer to the flora and fauna all around us without the need to use a car. We encourage their creation wherever there is land available to make it possible.
Northamptonshire is fortunate in having several large open spaces - Fineshade Wood near Corby, Harlestone Firs on the outskirts of Northampton, Stanwick Lakes in the Nene Valley and Salcey Forest in the south of the county are fine examples.
Recent proposed developments in Fineshade Wood demonstrate how much these areas need our protection. But it is not all gloom and doom – Stanwick Lakes, until fairly recently a series of gravel pits, is now a highly valued amenity.
Harlestone Firs (c) Martin Fletcher