(A Guest post by council ecologist Mathew Thomas)
Dear Local Action Team,
I am writing to invite Local Action Teams in Brighton and Hove to take part in choosing the best wildlife sites in Brighton and Hove. Once chosen, these sites will be protected from development and will be the focus for future conservation work.
Over the past couple of years, around 150 potential sites in Brighton and Hove have been visited and surveyed in detail, both in the inner urban area and surrounding countryside. As well as recording important species and habitats, the surveys have taken account of the value of local green spaces as places simply to walk and enjoy nature.
The next stage is for the compiled survey information to be presented to selection panels. The panels will assess each site against pre-agreed criteria and decide whether they should be formally recognised as a ‘Local Wildlife Site’. The panels will also be able to recommend sites to go forward for designation as Local Nature Reserves, which are protected by law.
It is important that the selection panels take full account of local knowledge, views and values, as well as more ‘scientific’ criteria, so you do not have to be an acknowledged expert in a particular species or habitat to be involved (although acknowledged experts are very welcome too!).
The selection panels take place at the following times and venues:
- 7pm, Tuesday 23rd April, Portslade Town Hall, Victoria Road, Brighton, BN41 1YF (for the Hove, Mile Oak and Portslade areas).
- 7pm, Monday 29th April, Saltdean Community Centre, Saltdean Park Road, Saltdean, BN2 8SP (for east Brighton, Rottingdean and Saltdean).
- 7pm, Tuesday 30th April, Brighton Town Hall, Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1JA (for central Brighton, Wild Park and farmland to the north).
If you, or a member of your Local Action Team would like to attend one or more of the selection panels, please reply to me by e-mail, indicating which (or all) panel meetings you would like to attend.(see below for contact)
Each selection panel is limited to 20 people and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please reply promptly to secure your place. All confirmed panel members will receive more information shortly.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the SNCI project, please contact me by e-mail or on 01273 292371.
Thank you for your interest
Brighton & Hove City Council