Newbridge Slopes visit shows Wera Hobhouse MP nature and wildlife in the heart of Bath

Monday 30th July 2018

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse was able to see the rich wildlife in and around Bath when she met Avon Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Ian Barrett, and Director of Conservation, Amy Coulthard, at Newbridge Slopes today. Avon Wildlife Trust is in the process of taking over the site from Bath and North East Somerset Council and has begun working to improve habitat for wildlife and help connect people living nearby as well as people using the park and ride next to it – to visit and value this space

Newbridge Slopes is a Local Wildlife Site – one of 298 in Bath and North East Somerset, and 847 across the wider Avon region – which are vitally important spaces for wildlife and people alike. These sites, which can range from ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows and tiny copses, are increasingly vulnerable due to a lack of funding available to manage them for wildlife, as well as pressure from development.

Avon Wildlife Trust’s Ian Barrett and Amy Coulthard showed Wera Hobhouse the important wildflowers like salad burnet, yarrow, woolly thistle and bird's-foot trefoil growing on the limestone soils of Newbridge Slopes, and talked about the plans AWT has to restore more of the wildflower grassland and give people of all ages a chance to learn about wildlife and build practical skills to help wildlife flourish.

Ian Barrett said:
“Showing Wera Hobhouse the grassland wildflowers and woodland of Newbridge Slopes was a great chance to demonstrate the rich wildlife and habitats in her constituency and show how these spaces connect together into the wider landscape around Bath. Nature is in serious decline across the UK and it’s time to take concerted action to ensure we have abundant wildlife and healthy green spaces for future generations to enjoy. The Government has just published an Environment Bill and we’ll be calling for that to be a ground-breaking piece of legislation which strengthens our environmental protections and builds a wilder Britain as we leave the EU.”

Wera Hobhouse MP said:
“The environment is as important for people as it is for the survival of the planet. It’s important for our wellbeing, our health and our future. Avon Wildlife Trust is doing a great job of looking after sites like Newbridge Slopes, engaging people here with the nature on their doorsteps and improving the way wildlife and natural spaces in and around Bath connect up with the wider landscape. Our environment is under pressure and we need strong environmental protection in law to make sure we continue protecting wildlife and healthy green spaces.”