Agricultural parks: barley, bees and bikes
GI Benefit of the month #9: Green Infrastructure and quality of life
Each month we introduce a particular benefit of green nfrastructure including examples from the project’s case study areas and across Central Europe.
Located on the fringes of settlements agricultural parks provide a number of benefits and ecosystem services. As large-scale green infrastructure elements they provide employment, food, habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for communities and visitors. For cities wanting to preserve their green edges the parks present a multiple land-use option and give residents access to fresh produce with little or no ‘food miles’ and green space, contributing to improving health. Parks can be used for educational purposes and of
course they sustain local employment.
Agricultural Parks can be found across the globe. Here in Europe one example is the Parco Agricolo Sud Milano in Italy. It is 47,000 ha contains 1,400 farms and is located on the southern edge of Milan. Cereals make up the bulk of the produce alongside dairy. Located in the woods, streams and semi-natural areas of the park kingfishers, quail and bittern can be found. The park is an important connecting green infrastructure element and management of the smaller GI elements in the park such as ditches is aimed at maintaining connectivity within the park.
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