Help to protect our Local Wildlife Sites

Salthill Quarry a LWS by Alan WrightSalthill Quarry a LWS by Alan Wright

Thousands of hugely important wildlife sites are in danger as the Government looks to remove protection under new national guidelines - we must stand up and protect them.

From ancient woodlands and flower meadows to wildlife oases in our cities, there are thousands of quiet, often unnoticed places where wildlife thrives. They are known as Local Wildlife Sites and there are more than 42,000 in England. Together they make up five per cent of England’s land area.

Across the majority of our three counties, they’re the principal wildlife resource but their designation is non-statutory and their only protection comes through the planning system. Most are on private land.

We believe that this could be a disaster for our wildlife

Local Wildlife Sites are recognised in national planning policy which protects them from being developed for housing, roads or industry. Even with this protection, some are lost each year.

Now, the Government is proposing to take all reference to Local Wildlife Sites out of the National Planning Policy Framework. This means removing protection for all Local Wildlife Sites.

In Lancashire, they are known as “Biological Heritage Sites” (BHSs). There are currently over 1,100 BHSs in the county, covering 25 000ha. This represents eight per cent of the county’s area. And there are hundreds across Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

The Government plans mean “unprotecting” 42,000 unique places where our soils are healthy and our wildlife can thrive – and with this our society. It means unprotecting an area of wildlife-rich land the size of Devon. We believe this could be a disaster for our wildlife. 

A consultation on the proposals is now open and closes on May 10. Our form will help you respond to the relevant questions in the consultation. Please tell them your views on why wildlife must be protected.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive Anne Selby called for nature lovers to raise their voices.