The urban fringe is the extensive area around towns and cities which accounts for more than 20% of the land area of England. It is of critical importance to rural and urban communities alike, and the Countryside In and Around Towns programme (CIAT) has been specifically developed to provide a strategic approach to making best uses of its resources, and to contribute towards sustainable development.
Here we highlight the Countryside In and Around Towns programme’s achievements over the last two years, in seeking to demonstrate a vision for the urban fringe through engaging and influencing others to effect change and maximise the potential of this resource. Exemplar demonstration projects are featured along with examples of how linkages have been made, particularly with Green Infrastructure.
The programme provides a solid foundation for Natural England’s future work, both on urban and urban fringe policy development, and on Green Infrastructure, whether in Growth Areas, Growth Points or elsewhere in England.