Working with Nature

Cotswold Canal Connected (CCC) is particularly focused on the management of the heritage (both cultural and natural) in Phase 1b of the canal restoration project. This will include comprehensive habitat creation and restoration projects within the planned works from the outset with the aim of achieving a net positive gain for biodiversity. CCC is using the canal restoration to link and enhance the natural features and wildlife habitats of the fragmented landscape from Saul Junction to The Ocean, Stonehouse. This commitment has led to the development of a ‘Working with Nature’ strategy.

Cotswold Canals Connected wants to work with nature by:
  • Making the most of the project’s location in a wildlife corridor
  • Keeping our knowledge of the state of the wildlife up-to-date
  • Minimising disturbance to wildlife areas
  • Creating new habitats
  • Building best practice in wildlife protection into canal restoration
  • Ensuring wildlife and biodiversity are woven into all project themes
  • Embedding wildlife features in canal design
  • Joining adjacent land to the canal wildlife corridor
  • Inviting all landowners to work alongside us

A community mapping process started at the beginning of the development phase to identify the social demography of the canal corridor, map potential external partners, agree entry points for community engagement and collect additional baseline data. The engagement team are assessing canal usage by different audiences and researching opportunities for engagement by different groups (particularly disadvantaged young people and school children).

Between January and March 2019 Cotswold Canal Connected delivered seven large public community consultations at five key strategically placed localities along the canal corridor – 980 local people attended these events and shared their comments, concerns, thoughts and ideas on the canal restoration project. The events gave local people the chance to talk directly to the Environmental Manager, Anna Tarbet and ask her specific questions about CCC’s ideas/plans for biodiversity off-setting, wildlife conservation and mitigation. People could also meet the rest of the canal team and find out how to get more involved.

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