‘Green Corridors’ refer to the space underneath overhead powerlines which, with proper management, can deliver important ecosystem services to local biodiversity.
Scientific studies and examples from the field continue to show that, with proper management, the land under powerlines can become biodiversity hubs. Such management, known as “Integrated Vegetation Management” (IVM) can be used to create strategically planned networks of natural and semi-natural areas called‘green corridors’. Noting irregularities between TSO’s IVM policies and lack of clarity on the topic, RGI worked together with the consultancy Ecofirst to conduct a benchmarking exercise. The aim of this was to understand what the common roadblocks are, what tools could be needed to overcome these, and to propose some ways in which IVM policies can be better developed and implemented. From research and further discussions with TSOs, NGOs, landowners and other stakeholders, four main future priorities became clear:
· Build mapping tools – these must be developed for the identification of appropriate IVM sites.
· Test and share new governance approaches – vital in overcoming the obstacles in rolling out IVM (e.g. lack of resources, landowner opposition)
· Prove cost efficiency through Cost Benefit Analysis – a precondition in convicing TSOs and regulators of the financial value of IVM.
· Expand the scientific knowledge base – the effectiveness of different types of IVM intervention must be measured and quantifying biological indicators designed.