What’s special and valuable about Poole’s natural environment?
Though much of our heathland has been lost, what remains in and around Poole is part of an internationally important habitat and supports special wildlife. Poole’s sandy cliffs and heaths are home to rare reptiles and insects, including the nationally rare smooth snake and sand lizard.
In Poole Harbour a key challenge is making space for nature, recreation and economic activity, with busy tourist and commercial boat traffic above, and meadows of sea-grass, seahorses and other rich marine life below. Sandy bays, saltmarshes, islands with lagoons and mudflats support birds in winter, where up to 20,000 wintering waders, including avocets, gather. The harbour is of international importance for its wildlife and rare wetland habitats.
Poole’s network of green spaces, in the form of allotments, cemeteries, parks, railway lines, waterways and private gardens, enable people to spot wildlife such as hedgehog, bee orchid, broad bodied chaser dragonfly or great spotted woodpecker.
Protecting and restoring nature in Poole
Heathland: 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 this work continues to be a priority in this area
Restoring the marine environment: Restricting environmentally damaging activities, and using low impact fishing techniques, allows many marine habitats to recover. Evidence shows that creating Marine Conservation Zones allows sea life to thrive again. We need to designate an effective network of these protected areas to restore biodiversity and rebuild fish stocks.
Wildlife rich urban areas: Our urban areas don’t need to be lacking in nature. Local leaders, planners and developers can all help ensure wildlife thrives. Networks of domestic gardens, public parks, allotments, street trees, green spaces, streams, verges and railway embankments, all provide space for wildlife. Better ‘green infrastructure’, as simple 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.
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.
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