GIFT-T! (Green Infrastructure For Tomorrow – Together!) was a four year transnational project designed to bring together local communities and businesses, through the development of bottom-up planning tools, that can help deliver sustainable and robust green infrastructure* (GI) across their local environment. The project started in September 2011 consisting of five case study areas across north west Europe, including the Hoo Peninsula.
For further information on GIFT-T!, visit the project website.
*Green Infrastructure is a term used to describe networks of natural features, that provide benefits (ecosystem services) to people. Watch this wonderful short film to find out more.
The first stage of the project in the Hoo peninsula case study area involved two public group discussions, a series of interviews with stakeholders, and focus groups with local school children and young people to identify a broad vision for Green Infrastructure in the area and top level goals for the GI Business Plan.
The project developed over 70 maps showing Landscape Service delivery across the peninsula providing a valuable resource when thinking about future landscape changes. But statistics can only tell us so much. GIFT-T! has also been talking to lots of different people – residents, farmers, businesses, politicians, environmental groups and people from a wide range of organisations – to help define a positive Vision for the future of Hoo Peninsula, in terms of improved green and blue spaces. Five targeted youth conversations took place – the results of which are embedded in the business plan.
The two common messages from the GIFT-T! Community Conversations, youth meetings and face to face interviews were:
“There is a need to make the Peninsula better known, and make it more attractive to visitors.”
“I want to be proud of Grain, not embarrassed by where I live.”
Transforming the quality of the Hoo environment is never going to be achieved through just one project, in one year, by one partner or from one budget. Delivering a more sustainable and healthier Hoo Peninsula will require concentrated, coordinated, proactive plan informed by local input and needs, and delivered by a broad partnership of local and regional interests. This what GIFT-T! is seeking to achieve.
Hoo Peninsula Green Infrastructure Business Plan