Nature conservation and wildlife

What are we doing for wildlife?

We have a duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to conserve nature and wildlife.

As part of our duty we have prepared a Local Biodiversity Action Plan

We aim to:

  • implement site management plans guided by the Local Biodiversity Action Plan
  • develop new habitats
  • increase and protect the quality of existing habitats

Our Planning service also plays a role in nature conservation by protecting wildlife on private land from unsuitable development, and encouraging developers to make improvements.

Exploring interesting wild places

We manage sites that are protected for their nature conservation value, including local nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. We also have partners in nature conservation such as Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who manage their own wildlife sites which are open to the public.

Local Nature Reserves

These are living green spaces which are important to people and support a vibrant wildlife, plus some geological features of local interest and importance. Local Nature Reserves offer the chance to study, to learn, or to simply enjoy nature. There are sixteen Local Nature Reserves in the district.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Countryside manages two Sites of Special Scientific Interest - Seckar Wood and South Elmsall Quarry. Sites of Special Scientific Interest are of national importance and showcase the best examples of UK's flora, fauna, geological or physiological features.

Protecting wildlife and natural sites from development

This is done by the Planning department:

Development Control decides whether to grant planning permission, considering advice from West Yorkshire Ecology on the nature impact of applications. 

A specialist planning officer deals with Tree Preservation Orders and hedgerow protection. The Local Development Framework sets planning strategy, with policies on the natural environment.

Joining in

Countryside manages many parks and nature reserves that have Friends Groups that need your help. Please contact Countryside for more information or check the parks pages if you have a site in mind.

Organisations you may wish to join include:

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Wakefield District Biodiversity Group
Volunteering in Wakefield's green spaces
The Conservation Volunteers
West Yorkshire Geology Trust

Contact Us

Waterton Countryside Discovery Centre Anglers Country Park Haw Park Lane Wintersett Wakefield WF4 2EB

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