The aim of the Craven GBI Map is to bring together a number of public information sources, about the location and type of green and blue infrastructure in the area, into a single, accessible and easy-to-use online tool. To that end, the information has been added to Google Maps, which is a powerful, free and familiar tool for all devices from desktops to smartphones.
Navigating the Map
The Craven GBI Map adds four new layers to the standard Google Map. These can be viewed one at a time, all together or in any combination. Layers can be turned on or off by clicking the tick-box next to the layer name. Each layer contains a set of GBI assets (or 'items') of broadly similar type. The four layers are:
- Blue Infrastructure
- Green Infrastructure a): Plan-led multi-functional GI assets
- Green Infrastructure b): Natural habitat and wildlife focused
- Green Infrastructure c): Community and/or recreation focused
As the name suggests, blue infrastructure includes things like rivers, becks, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and canals - any kind of natural or man-made waterbody. Current data limitations mean that the blue infrastructure layer contains just one item at the moment - the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which is outlined and shaded in blue. However, many other waterbodies can be seen in the standard Google Map background layers and on Natural England's map (see Other Resources, below).
Green and blue infrastructure is typically multi-functional. In other words, it serves more than one purpose at the same time. However, GBI assets can focus on one purpose in particular. For example, Aireville Park in Skipton is focused on recreation and community use, but is also good for wildlife. On the map, items of green infrastructure are divided into three broadly similar types, based on their focus.
a): Plan-led multi-functional GI assets
Items in this layer are outlined and shaded in dark green, and come from designations or allocations in the Craven Local Plan. They are specifically designed to serve more than one purpose and do not have a single main focus. For these reasons, they are described as plan-led multi-functional GI assets. The layer includes Green Wedges, Local Green Space and a number of sites allocated for housing, employment or mixed-use development.
b): Natural habitat and wildlife focused
Items in this layer are outlined and shaded in orange. They are protected by local, national and international designations for their importance to biodiversity. This means they may be multi-functional, but have a clear focus on natural habitat and wildlife. The layer includes Ancient Woodland, Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Due to the limitations of available data, it has been necessary to draw inset boxes around some of these items. Inset boxes contain links to where precise boundaries for each item can be found.
c): Community and/or recreation focused
Items in this layer are outlined and shaded in light green. The majority come from the Council's open space and sports evidence, and include Semi-Natural Greenspace, Amenity Greenspace, Parks and Gardens, Allotments, Cemeteries, Civic Spaces, Children’s Play Areas and Outdoor Sports Facilities. Other items, such as Public Rights of Way and areas of land covered by Tree Preservation Orders, will be added to the Craven GBI Map once suitable data becomes available. Items in this layer may be multi-functional, but their main purpose is clearly focused on local communities and/or recreation.
Using the Map
The Craven GBI Map is a tool that can be used by developers, decision-makers and communities to help ensure that the local GBI network is protected, enhanced and expanded in accordance with relevant Craven Local Plan policies and policy guidance (see below):
- Check the map for existing GBI assets on, adjoining or near a site.
- Click on an item to see details about the GBI asset.
- See how the GBI network could be improved by creation of new GBI assets that interact with and link up to existing GBI assets in the local area.
- Spot opportunities to create multi-functional open spaces for people and nature that can be used as walkways, wildlife corridors, habitats and to reduce flood risk.
The Council has produced a GBI Resource Paper to accompany the Craven GBI Map. It includes additional complementary information and is available in the Related Documents section, below.
Natural England is the government's adviser for the natural environment and provides the following free information and tools. These include a baseline of GI across England to assist in planning GI strategically at different scales, and targeting investment where it is most needed:
- Green Infrastructure Framework
- Green Infrastructure Mapping Database and Analyses
- Green Infrastructure Map