Uncertain Future for Local Wildlife Sites Highlighted in Darren Jones MP Visit to Lawrence Weston Moor

Friday 29th June 2018

The future of Bristol’s Local Wildlife Sites and their lack of protection was under discussion this afternoon when Darren Jones, Bristol North West MP, visited Lawrence Weston Moor with Avon Wildlife Trust chief executive, Ian Barrett, and Director of Conservation, Amy Coulthard. Lawrence Weston Moor is one of 86 Local Wildlife Sites across the city and 847 across the whole Avon region where wildlife thrives – and are essential places to enable nature’s recovery and reverse the decline of species and habitats that have seen numbers of much-loved wild animals like hedgehogs sharply decline.

AWT is joining with The Wildlife Trusts nationally in urging the Government to guarantee the future protection of the more than 42,000 Local Wildlife Sites across England – including Lawrence Weston Moor – in the latest National Planning Policy Framework which sets out where and how development can take place.

“Seeing the reed beds and wetland meadow landscape of Lawrence Weston Moor, and the evidence of owls, bats and insects like dragonflies and butterflies, shows for Darren Jones the value of sites like this within his constituency, not just for wildlife abundance, but also how important they are for nearby communities to explore and connect with the nature on their doorsteps,” says Ian Barrett, AWT chief executive.

“It’s time to take serious action if we want a rich natural environment in decades ahead – and the benefits that brings all of us. We are calling for the future of Local Wildlife Sites to be guaranteed in the planning system, and we want the Government to go much further and commit to building a Nature Recovery Network which will put space for nature at the heart of our planning and farming policies.”

Lawrence Weston Moor is one of eight Local Wildlife Sites across Bristol which Avon Wildlife Trust is working on – with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund - to restore and enhance their habitats, and to give people living in nearby communities a chance to explore and understand these hidden spaces, and play their part in creating places for wildlife to thrive and people to enjoy.