Using green spaces as wildlife habitat
Green spaces can provide great wildlife habitat and enhance biodiversity.
Within green spaces there are opportunities to create habitats. Tree and shrub planting will be important in this respect, alongside wildflower meadows. Water features can be beneficial for wildlife and also provide cooling for people, and potentially irrigation for the rest of the green space during droughts. In addition, they can act as sustainable urban drainage systems to help reduce flooding. Think about reviewing park and green space facilities to identify opportunities to develop wildlife education.
A green approach might also include reviewing management practices and adopting new approaches to support a greater range of wildlife within the parks. For example, consider leaving suitable areas unmown – this will also reduce carbon emissions associated with site management).
The Greater London Authority provides useful guidance in Parks, People and Nature for enhancing natural habitats in parks and green spaces in a changing climate. This includes a number of case studies from around London. One example it considers is Whittington Park in Islington. In just four hectares this urban neighbourhood park manages to accommodate a football pitch, two playgrounds, skate park, dog walking areas, a woodland and a wild flower meadow, thereby providing for local recreational needs as well wildlife habitat support.
CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield