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Grey County is undertaking a Natural Environment Study to help guide policies and approaches when dealing with the natural environment.  This study will help balance the protection of our natural environment  with the continued need for development in Grey County.

The Grey County countryside is full of wonderful natural features such as large wetlands, forests and watercourses, each containing their own unique and diverse ecosystem. Identifying these individual features has largely been completed, but it’s important to also understand how they all link together to form our entire natural environment. The Provincial Policy Statement refers to this connected natural environment as a “Natural Heritage System” and requires these systems to be identified. Through this study the County will team up with the public to identify Grey County’s Natural Heritage System through a “made in Grey” approach. The County plans to balance the protection of the Natural Heritage System with the continued need for development, agricultural production, and resource use in the County, as well as recreation and tourism.  

Study Process

The study area will cover the entire County, including the urban areas, and will lead to an amendment to the County Official Plan.  The Study is being undertaken in three stages.  

Stage 1 – Study Initiation

  • Collecting and reviewing background research to create a map of the Natural Heritage System.     

Stage 2 – Drafting Criteria and Mapping

  • Preparing criteria for identifying significant natural features. 
  • First round of stakeholder and public consultation.  
  • Detailed aerial and roadside inspections to refine mapping and verify natural features.
  • Preparing a series of maps for each component of the Natural Heritage System Study.
  • Analyzing the connectivity between natural features.
  • Drafting a Natural Heritage System Report.

Stage 3 – Policy Setting and Finalization of the Natural Heritage System Identification

  • Second round of stakeholder and public consultation.
  • Finalizing the Natural Heritage System Study and developing policy and recommendations for implementation.
  • Presenting to the Grey County Planning and Community Development Committee and Grey County Council for approval.

Following the completion of the study, an Amendment to the County’s Official Plan will be made to reflect the results and recommendations of the study. 

Community Consultation

Are you interested in following or participating in the Natural Heritage System Study? Join Grey County on Facebook, follow @GreyCounty on Twitter or return to this website for regular updates. Public meetings will be scheduled and anyone is welcome to attend. You can also submit feedback directly to Sarah Morrison, Intermediate Planner with Grey County. 

A Technical Advisory Committee made up of staff from the Conservation Authorities, Grey County and local municipalities is being established. The committee will provide input and direction at key points during the study.  

Study Team

The County has retained consultants to assist with the Study.  The Consultant Team is being led by Natural Resource Solutions Inc. with assistance from Macaulay Shiomi Howson Ltd.

For more information, please contact Sarah Morrison at 519-372-0219 ext. 1241 or email her at

Past Green in Grey Notices and Information


Sarah Morrison
Intermediate Planner


Planning Department
595 9th Avenue East
Owen Sound Ontario N4K 3E3
Phone: 519-376-2205
Hours: Monday - Friday (8:30 - 4:30)