Bournemouth West Constituency

BOURNEMOUTH WEST - Urban green space - Bmth Gardens © Charlotte Barrett

What’s special and valuable about Bournemouth West’s natural environment?

Valuable fragments of the Dorset heathland are left within the Bournemouth West conurbation. These support sand lizards and Dartford warblers – special and rare wildlife, unheard of in most parts of the country.

Housing gives way to the floodplain of the Stour Valley, with flower filled meadows, marsh and wet woodlands. As well as providing opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors, it also offers the chance to see a kingfisher, heron or dragonfly.

Although largely urban, Bournemouth supports the natural environment within its network of green spaces, in the form of allotments, cemeteries, parks, railway lines, waterways and private gardens, enabling people to spot wildlife such as hedgehogs, bee orchids or great-spotted woodpeckers.

Protecting and restoring nature in Bournemouth West

A wildlife rich urban network: Our urban areas don’t need to lack the beauty of nature and abundance of wildlife.  Local leaders, planners and developers can all help bring back wildlife to our urban areas. Networks of domestic gardens, public parks, allotments, street trees, green spaces, streams and railway embankments, all provide space for wildlife. Better ‘green infrastructure’, such as more tree cover to provide shade in hotter summers, can make a big difference to our quality of life and the appeal of our towns.

Floodplains and wetlands helping us deal with a changing climate: With climate change we face a wetter and stormier future. Nature can be our ally in adapting to increased flood risk.  By creating wetlands, space can be made for flood water which helps protect infrastructure. This not only creates valuable natural habitats, but can be far more cost effective than hard flood defence.

Restoring and connecting heathland: Since the mid eighteenth century 85% of heathland in Dorset has been lost, leaving isolated fragments.  The Great Heath project, which was established in 2013 (funded by the HLF), aims to link people and wildlife across the area, creating a landscape rich in wildlife and highly valued, enjoyed and cared for by people.  This project has seen the purchase of land, creation of nature parks and collaborative working with other organisations to start the process of linking wild spaces for the benefit of wildlife.  The main funding of this project is coming to an end, so we need to make sure the work is continued.

What you can do

Please share the below questions with your local candidates, through social media, email or face to face, and ask other people who care about nature in your constituency, to do the same.  This will give you a basis for keeping the natural environment on their agenda and let them know how important it is to you.  

  1. What will you do to ensure our wildlife is protected and restored after Brexit?
  2. What will you do to ensure that wildlife thrives in our seas once more?
  3. What will you do to ensure we have new farming policies that support nature’s recovery?
  4. What will you do to make sure we move to a low carbon economy?

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