Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure is the network of green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities. In rural areas this can include fields, woodlands, hedgerows, country parks, rivers and lakes. In urban areas it can include domestic gardens, street trees, sports pitches, civic spaces, green roofs and walls.

Torfaen is blessed with a high quality network of green spaces including historic formal parks, a canal and a variety of accessible woodlands, rivers, and a diverse upland landscape. Torfaen County Borough Council is committed to managing, improving and promoting its Green Infrastructure as it is increasingly recognised that it has an important role in health and wellbeing, economic development and mitigation against climate change. 

The County has many important sites for biodiversity including seven Local Nature Reserves and three Sites of Special Scientific Interest. These sites are designated for conservation, quiet enjoyment and public appreciation of nature.  The principal local nature reserve is located at Garn Lakes in Blaenavon (Green Flag site) which has three large lakes and a great network of habitats and paths (Local Nature Reserves link)

The benefits of the natural environment have been acknowledged for centuries; from the Victorian urban parks and the garden cities which brought health benefits to industrial England and to the new towns such as Cwmbran.  

More recently there have been many studies which have identified the economic benefits of a well managed green infrastructure and it is now recognised as essential for the business community and for the growth of a sustainable economy in Torfaen.  

 Green infrastructure is an effective and cost-efficient tool for

  • absorbing and sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide (C02).
  • can reduce energy usage through passive heating and cooling;
  • filter air and water pollutants;
  • decrease solar heat gain;
  • provide wildlife habitat;
  • reduce the public cost of storm water management infrastructure and provide flood control;
  • offer food sources; and stabilise soil to prevent or reduce erosion.
  • Green infrastructure is crucial to combating climate change, creating healthy built environments
  • improving quality of life.

There are a wide range of initiatives which are on-going to improve existing green infrastructure through regeneration and environmental projects.  If you are interested in learning more about this contact Andrew Nevill Tel: 01633 648505 or email

Blaenavon World Heritage Site -

Local Nature Reserves -