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The Forestry Research Commission will be outlining how it's been making progress in transforming contaminated industrial sites into vibrant green spaces as part of the seminar programme at this year's Brownfield Expo (BEX).

The commission's head of land regeneration and urban greenspace Tony Hutchings will be speaking on Tuesday, May 19 on the regeneration of brownfield and contaminated land to greenspace.

"It's really about the renewal of neighbourhoods and urban areas by establishing what we call multi-functional greenspace," Mr Hutchings told edie.

"It's good for wildlife and has lots of social and economic benefits."

The commission is involved in the regeneration of sites up and down the country, from abandoned Northern collieries to former industrial wasteland in the Thames estuary.

Other remediation projects include tin mines and china clay pits in the South West.

Mr Hutchings said there was a growing recognition of the value of greenery.

"They're becoming more popular - green space is seen now as a very important part of urban planning," he said.

Where once such projects would have been funded solely by the public purse, more and more frequently the costs are being shared by the public and private sectors.

"The nice thing is that the developers now see that they will get a better return on their properties, whether commercial or domestic, when there are green spaces associated with them," said Mr Hutchings.

The size of the sites the commission has been working on vary from a few hectares to much bigger sites, up to 100 hectares.

Mr Hutchings will also be sharing good practice on public engagement, outlining how early stakeholder engagement and consultation has helped allay concerns of those likely to use the sites once remediated.

For more information on the BEX seminar programme, visit the website.

Sam Bond




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