Birmingham City Council

People and Nature Conservation


Contact with nature enriches people's lives and it is in the garden that many people encounter urban wildlife for the first time, and most often after that. But people are also interested in urban wildlife beyond the garden fence.

Access

Research shows that people enjoy using natural open spaces in towns. There are around 150 sites of quality for nature conservation in Birmingham but not everyone has one within easy walking distance of their home. For example Northfield has 12 SINCs and Sparkbrook has none. Some of these sites of quality are not open to the public. As the open spaces people tend to visit most frequently are those within walking distance of their homes policies to improve access should focus most on local provision.



Policy Twenty One:

The City Council will seek to ensure that where possible people have access to a variety of natural open spaces as follows:

1 x 2ha site within 500m of peoples' homes
1 x 20ha site within 2km of peoples' homes
1 x 100ha site within 5km of peoples' homes
1 x 500ha site within 10km of peoples' homes

Policy Twenty Two

The City will aim to increase Local Nature Reserve provision by 10% to achieve 1ha per 27,458 people.

Making Access Easier

Some people find it difficult to use informal open spaces because there are few signs to them, entrances are sometimes gaps in fences and paths are of poor quality. These issues particularly affect those with reduced mobility or a disability. Also there are understandable concerns about personal security, especially for women, and about trespassing where it may not be clear that a site is open to the public.

Policy Twenty Three

The City Council will make particular efforts to meet the needs of children, women, minority ethnic groups, and others with special needs to gain access and enjoyment from using natural open spaces.

Awareness Raising and Promotion

More information could be given to people about the location of natural open spaces in the City, how best to get to them and what they might find when they get there.

Policy Twenty Four
The City Council will promote awareness, understanding and enjoyment of wildlife in the City.

Environmental Education

People's knowledge and understanding of the natural world are key factors in shaping their attitudes and responsibility towards it and their enjoyment of it. Environmental education can play an important role in building up knowledge and understanding of nature conservation and enabling people to look after the environment.

Policy Twenty Five
The City Council will seek to ensure that nature conservation, including practical activities linked to the nature conservation resource, continues to play an important part in the environmental education elements of school, college and adult education centre curricula, in extra-curricular activities linked to the formal educational system and in workplace educational programmes.

Policy Twenty Six
The Council will encourage the voluntary and private sectors to play a full and active part in the delivery of nature conservation related, environmental education services.

Participation

We all have a responsibility to look after the environment, at home, school, work, indeed everywhere. People need to know how they can do this.

Policy Twenty Seven
The City Council will continue to promote the interest and involvement of local people in wildlife issues and projects.

Introduction
Sustainability and biodiversity
Nature Conservation and development
Enhancement of the nature conservation resource
Information base
Nature conservation and the wider environment
Co-ordination, monitoring and review
Guidelines for Action