Local Wildlife Sites
What are Local Wildlife Sites?
Local Wildlife Sites are areas identified and selected locally for their great wildlife value. The designation is non-statutory, but is recognition of a site’s significance with many sites being of county and often regional importance for wildlife. Examples range from field ponds, streams and reedbeds, to ancient woodlands, flower-rich meadows and hedgerows. They can be found on land including farms, small holdings, roadside verges and parks. With over 40,000 Local Wildlife Sites in the UK this is a well established system. In Leicestershire and Rutland we have 1,000 Local Wildlife Sites covering well over 3,000 hectares, but this is still less than 2% of the land area of the two counties.
Why are they so important?
Local Wildlife Sites are the grass-roots of nature conservation. Not only are they important in their own right, but they also create a vital network of wildlife rich sites reaching across districts and counties. These qualities make the natural environment as a whole more robust and able to cope with change.
Benefits of owning a Local Wildlife Site:
- Contributing to the conservation of our local wildlife
- Free and practical management advice, taking land use and feasibility into account
- Information on sources of grant aid, including the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s small grant scheme
- Recognition of Local Wildlife Sites in the Higher Level Stewardship scheme
- Receipt of Skylark the newsletter for Local Wildlife Site owners and managers
- The designation does not give anyone a right of access to the site other than on existing rights of way
- Ordinary land management and agricultural operations are not affected