Working together to boost biodiversity

Last Updated: 15 July 2022

15 July 2022

Help is at hand for anybody who would like to get involved with protecting and enhancing biodiversity and nature in South Lakeland District Council-owned parks and open spaces.

SLDC's biodiversity policy encourages habitat creation and restoration, and helps create green corridors and green space networks.

Guidance has now been brought together so anybody can easily find out the ways that community groups can work on SLDC’s 22 parks, 16 semi-natural areas and eight cemeteries, how the council can support that, and sets out its priorities of biodiversity features, as well as details of existing Friends groups and insurance and liability requirements.

South Lakeland District Council works with grounds maintenance partner Continental Landscapes to manage these public parks and open spaces, with local groups such as Friends of Noble’s Rest and Ambleside Action for a Future using their skills and knowledge to carry out additional work and enhancements to protect and improve nature in South Lakeland.

The new guidance aims to further enable the work of these existing groups and to be a resource for any new groups of friends, volunteers or charities that wish to work on our land to improve biodiversity, make our green spaces more natural, more biodiverse and carbon-sequestering.

Councillor Dyan Jones, Portfolio Holder for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said: "In 2019, South Lakeland District Council declared a Climate Emergency. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity can help us adapt to climate change and we are grateful to have so many committed groups and volunteers working with us to do so in our parks and open spaces.

"Our Biodiversity Toolkit is aimed at supporting and enhancing all the great work that already goes on. So if you would like to get involved, or start your own Friends group for one of our parks, open spaces or cemeteries, please get in touch and we can work together to make a difference."

Green spaces benefit nature, humans, the wider environment and our climate. Parks and open spaces can have a positive impact; for example, regular exposure to green spaces gives short and long-term benefits to mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Simple steps can provide or protect habitats for pollinators, mammals, birds and molluscs, reptiles and amphibians, and the soil ecosystem.

Green spaces can also help mitigate climate change by capturing carbon, help prevent flooding and drought by storing and using rainwater, and be part of sustainable waste management, for example by local food composting or green waste.

Projects could include bee banks or bee hotels, bog gardens, meadows, tree planting, planting for pollinators or woodpiles.

More details about what you need to do get involved – either a specific project, joining an existing Friends group or setting up a new Friends group – can be found in the Biodiversity toolkit on the SLDC website at Biodiversity Community Toolkit (southlakeland.gov.uk)