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Green Belts

Green Belt facts

England's 14 Green Belts cover more than a tenth (12.4%) of land in the country, and provide a breath of fresh air for 30 million people. 

Our Green Belts help prevent urban sprawl, and protect our countryside from encroachment, but did you know they're home to 19% of all traffic free cycle routes and 34% of Community Forest land?

Explore these and other surprising facts in our Green Belt factsheet. 

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Green Belts: A greener future

A report by Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England

This landmark report brings together, for the first time, information on the state of Green Belt land and compares this to other areas of England. We provide evidence that the 1.6 million hectares of Green Belt provide a rich and varied natural environment and many related benefits to society. The ecosystem services provided by Green Belt land are highly significant and have an economic value that is often underestimated or simply not understood. We conclude that these areas could take on an even greater significance in the face of climate change, England’s growing population and the need for a low carbon economy. They can also help in creating a healthier society through providing space for active outdoor lifestyles and nutritious locally grown food.

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Nature Conservation and Recreational Opportunities in the Green Belt

CPRE imagines a countryside on our doorstep where agriculture is less intensive, where there is space for nature that people can explore and enjoy and which is accessible to all. Green Belts can play a crucial role in enhancing the sustainability of our cities by providing essential ecological functions and recreational benefits which are fundamental to health and wellbeing.

New research published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows the huge potential of the Green Belt in terms of amenity and nature conservation. CPRE is calling on the Government to prioritise investment in Green Belts in the forthcoming 25-year plan for the environment and make sure Green Belt protection is enforced. A summary is also available.

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Our Green Belt: worth investing in

This report summarises the key findings of 'Nature Conservation and Recreational Opportunities in the Green Belt', produced for CPRE by environmental consultants ADAS.

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State of the Green Belt 2018

CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report shows that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt. 

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