Vision and Objectives

The refreshed vision for Thames Chase Community Forest is simple:

‘By 2030, Thames Chase Community Forest will be recognised as an inspirational example of landscape regeneration where enhanced, connected woodland and green space has made a clear difference to wildlife and peoples’ lives’

In order to achieve this vision, delivery will be shaped by the following objectives:

ObjectiveWhy
To protect, improve and expand the woodland character of the Community ForestBecause restoration of woodland remains as relevant now as it did in 1990 when Thames Chase was established
To maintain the natural integrity of the Community Forest’s air, land and water including wildlife.Because Thames Chase is a strategically significant environmental resource supporting both local communities and biodiversity
To develop a connected network of links and accessible, vibrant greenspaces throughout the Community ForestBecause sustainable, informal access on foot, bike and horse, and wildlife corridors remain as important now as it did in 1990 when Thames Chase was established
To integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation responses into the developing Community ForestBecause Thames Chase is a strategically significant environmental resource that can support national and international efforts to combat climate change
To use the Community Forest to improve local health and well-being, volunteering, learning and employmentBecause the environment that Thames Chase provides offers health and well-being benefits as well as opportunities to support economic growth and learning
To enable effective partnership working from national to local level to maximise impact of available resourcesBecause Thames Chase is an inclusive concept that ties into a whole range of national and local agendas allowing co-ordination and efficient use of shared resources

These objectives were partially derived from objectives set within the All London Green Grid Area 3 Framework, and developed further following consultation to ensure that they are bespoke to the Community Forest and echo the approach of previous Thames Chase Plans yet still link to the same high level agendas as the All London Green Grid.  This process is explained further in Appendix 1.

The following sections of this Plan set out how the vision and supporting objectives will be delivered over the next decade.  A combination of Forest-wide strategic programmes (Part Two) and local area based projects (Part Three) represent the means by which the vision will be realised in alignment with the first five objectives.  In terms of their phasing, this is organised in terms of whether they are short term (quick-wins deliverable within 3 years), medium term (require development work and will be deliverable by year 6) and long term (currently aspiration but will move towards delivery towards the end of this Plan’s life).  The governance underpinning the delivery of the vision is reflected by objective 6, which is addressed in the final section of the Plan ‘Getting There’ (Part Four).

How the Plan will deliver the Vision

Vision

The monitoring of progress towards this vision through delivery of the programmes and projects will be essential, and so progress indicators form an important part of this Plan.  In order to maintain consistency with previous Thames Chase Plans and historic Community Forest monitoring, many of the original Thames Chase indicators are carried forward into this Plan.  However, these are now aligned with the revised vision and objectives.

ObjectivesIndicators
To protect, improve and expand the woodland character of the Community Forest

i) Ha of woodland created
ii) Ha of new woodland under management

To maintain the natural integrity of the Community Forest’s air, land and water including wildlife.

iii) River quality classification status (Environment Agency Water Framework Directive compliant monitoring)
iv) Annual mean air pollution index (Defra monitoring)

To develop a connected network of links and accessible, vibrant greenspaces throughout the Community Forest

v) Km of access routes created
vi) Km of hedges planted

To integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation responses into the developing Community Forest

vii) Ha of non-woodland habitat created
(also indicator i.)

To use the Community Forest to improve local health and well-being, volunteering, learning and employment

viii) Number of volunteer days
ix) Number of events/activities

To enable effective partnership working from national to local level to maximise impact of available resourcesx) Annual investment in the Community Forest (£)

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