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Spaces wild: The critical importance of protecting London’s wild spaces

Thursday 15th October 2015

Spaces wild: The critical importance of protecting London’s wild spaces Spaces wild: The critical importance of protecting London’s wild spaces

Thirty years after the full range of London’s wildlife sites were first officially recognised, a new report from London Wildlife Trust, Spaces Wild, highlights the importance of protecting these sites for people, for nature, and as a critical component of London’s green infrastructure. Pressure on these sites is increasing for a range of reasons and now, more than ever, is the time to raise awareness of the value to Londoners.

Wildlife sites are an essential part of the city’s fabric, providing refuges for biodiversity, places for people to have contact with nature, and keeping London vibrant and healthy.

Across London over 1,500 wildlife sites have been recognised as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), comprising almost 20% of the Greater London area. They provide a vital home to many of the 13,000 species that have been recorded within the capital over the last 50 years, including many rare and threatened species. They also provide a place for people to walk, relax and escape the stresses of city life, positively influencing mental and physical health. And they provide essential ‘city services’; such as reducing flood risk, moderating local temperatures and enhancing air quality.

However, the capital’s SINCs are coming under increasing pressure as the city and its population grows. London boroughs, land managers and the communities that benefit from them need to be better equipped to use the policy framework that is in place to ensue they are protected and managed for the benefit of wildlife and people.
 

Spaces Wild cover

Gemma Hallam, Senior Planning Officer with London Wildlife Trust and co-author of Spaces Wild says:

“Wildlife sites are an essential part of the city’s fabric, providing refuges for biodiversity, places for people to have contact with nature, and keeping London vibrant and healthy. We hope this report can inform and support local authorities, land owners and communities, encouraging them to value London’s open spaces and ensuring that such sites survive and prosper as species-rich ecosystems, benefiting the entire city.

Spaces Wild has been produced to help decision-makers better understand the role of SINCs in London. It highlights some of the threats facing SINCs but also demonstrates how these can be countered or reduced. It emphasises the important role of local communities and encourages local authorities to recognise and promote the wider values of SINCs including the benefits to people’s health and well-being. The report recognises that innovative approaches to land management and funding may be required and encourages the public to get involved in the planning process to ensure policies to protect these sites are rigorously applied.
 

Download a copy of Spaces Wild  

Order a print copy of Spaces Wild by writing to Gemma Hallam, Senior Planning Officer, London Wildlife Trust, Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF 

 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
spaces-wild-london-wildlife-trust-oct2015.pdf2.02 MB