The Green Spaces Advisory Board has a new member - Alex Willey, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Clarion. Alex was recently welcomed onto the Board by GSAB’s Chairman Ria Bailes.

To watch the video of Ria’s interview with Alex, click here.

GSAB LogoAnnouncing Alex’s appointment, Ria said: “The Green Spaces Advisory Board is looking at how we can create sustainable, green communities that help the next generation to reap the benefits of the natural world. I'm here today to welcome our newest member of the Board, Alex Willey, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Clarion. Welcome Alex. How important is sustainable, green space at Clarion?”

Alex: “It's really important. As social landlords we control a large amount of potentially meaningful green and outdoor space and it really is part of our responsibility as ethical landlords to enable those communities to make the most of those spaces for their own benefit and health and well-being but also for the benefit of the environment. We recognise the importance at a neighbourhood scale of providing effective, quality, well-maintained green spaces that are informed by the people that live there in terms of what's there.”

The Green Spaces Advisory Board (GSAB) is supported by Ground Control and its mission is to unlock the potential of green spaces through actions and thought leadership, and by enabling housing conversations that create collaboration. The board’s aims are to develop biodiversity measurement metrics and share examples of best practice relating to green space management, green place-making, carbon offsetting and biodiversity enhancement to empower the housing sector and the communities it supports on the journey to Net Zero. GSAB leads the biodiversity and environmental sustainability agenda for the housing sector. It comprises seven housing associations and reaches almost 450,000 homes across England.

Ria, who is also Senior Social Housing Advisor at Ground Control, said;

Alex is an important addition to the Green Spaces Advisory Board and asked her what she would like the Board to achieve, collectively.

Alex: “We've got a real opportunity here, particularly with the wide membership of the Board and the access to green spaces that we will all have. I think one of the biggest things is about how we can deploy at a strategic level some of the fantastic projects that are already out there, whether that's things that we are doing at Clarion, such as our Green Youth peer researchers where we are getting young residents out to map our green spaces.”

Against the backdrop of COP 26, and the new Environment Act, the Green Spaces Advisory Board has an even more vital role to play than ever when it comes to green space management. Alex is looking forward to learning from the expertise on the Board and is keen to look at long-term maintenance plans for quality biodiversity. Asked for her thoughts on the challenges ahead, Alex said: “On behalf of the residents that we house and the communities that we work with, we have a real responsibility to get this right.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.

To watch the video of Ria’s interview with Alex, click here.

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