The importance of considering the natural environment lies in the fact that population increase and urban sprawl mean the city fringe is driven relentlessly outwards. Green gaps between urban areas are diminishing in size and quality. This is a non-sustainable process. If the city’s “ecological footprint” is to be significantly reduced, the City Council, together with various environmental groups and organisations and all the residents, need to play a part in showing a greater appreciation of the importance of nature.
The city is fortunate in having some excellent natural environment areas in close proximity; these include larger sites like the Blean Woods, the Stodmarsh nature reserve, the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Beauty and the Hambrook marshes.
As a stronger means of formally designating natural habitats, the Society would like to see a formally designated Green Belt round the city.