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

Sites of Special Scientific Interest are of national importance - they represent the best examples of the UK's flora, fauna, geological and physiological features. Countryside manage sites of special scientific interest at Seckar Wood near Newmillerdam and South Elmsall Quarry.

Protecting wildlife and natural sites from development

This is done by the Planning department:

  1. Planning permission is granted by Development Control, which is advised by West Yorkshire Ecology on the nature conservation impacts of planning applications, and may refuse permission on nature conservation grounds. There is also a specialist planning officer dealing with Tree Preservation Orders and hedgerow protection.
  2. Planning strategy is set by Spatial Policy through the Local Development Framework, which has policies on the Natural Environment.

Joining in

Countryside has a large number of country parks and nature reserves that have Friends Groups which require your help ​- please contact Countryside for further information or look on the parks pages if you have a specific site in mind​.

Organisations you may wish to join include:

Contact us


Waterton Countryside Discovery Centre
Anglers Country Park
Haw Park Lane

01924 860280