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New plan launched to safeguard wildlife in Leicester

Leicester Council have announced a 10-year plan to protect wildlife, conserve habitats and help ensure nature thrives in the area.

The new Leicester Biodiversity Action Plan 2021-31 sets out how the Council will focus conservation work on wildlife habitats and species that are most in need to help protect local biodiversity.

The new plan aims to bring at least 30% of the city’s greenspace under council management to benefit the wildlife and establish a city-wide Nature Recovery Network by creating around 25% more green corridors, linking parks and other green spaces.

The Council also hope it reduce the prevalence of non-native invasive species, while taking action to conserve and protect priority native species, and reduce the use of pesticides on council land by at least half.

brown and white bird on green grass during daytime

City mayor, Peter Soulsby, said: ‘Back in the 1980s, I was proud to be involved in establishing the city’s first ever ecology strategy. A huge amount has been achieved since then – we now have more wetlands, meadows and woodland across the city’s network of nature reserves and parks. Water quality in the river has also improved immensely so we now get Otters and Egrets in the heart of the city.

‘In recent years, we have seen how new investment can revitalise the city’s waterways, with new nature areas like the award-winning Ellis Meadows providing fantastic stop-off points for wildlife and for people.

‘We have a fantastic foundation to build on and that is exactly what the new Leicester Biodiversity Action Plan sets out to do. We want to create a city that remains rich in biodiversity and ensure that people continue to have access to the vast range of nature on our doorsteps, now and for future generations.’

The Biodiversity Action Plan includes actions to protect specific species, including peregrines, swifts, water vole, hedgehogs, black redstart and otters.

It will also see more wildflower planting on roadside verges, the restoration and creation of new hedgerows, and more tree planting to increase woodland cover.

The plan will also continue work to improve the city’s riverside, alongside creating new areas of grassland and wetland.

Dr Helen O’Brien, senior conservation officer at Leicester City Council, said: ‘In developing this new action plan, we recognise the critical role that nature must play in the future development of the city and the huge value that biodiversity brings to everyone who lives here.

‘It sets out clear targets to achieve over the next decade to help enhance and protect local biodiversity, put nature into recovery and secure sustainable healthy ecosystems for future generations.’

In related news, the first plant topped ‘Living Roof’ bus shelter in Brighton has been installed in Palmeira Square.

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge

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