eNewsletter Winter 2019

Peterborough Environment Capital

Land Use and Wildlife


Why we need accessible natural green space?: 
Peterborough has one of the highest ratios of green space per person in the UK.  However, as the city grows it is essential that this excellent level of provision is maintained and to a high standard to enhance quality of life for both people and wildlife. There has been a dramatic decline in wildlife habitats and species during the last 50 years. For example 2,200km of hedgerow were lost in Cambridgeshire between 1984-90 and nation-wide there have been 50% losses in the last 25 years of once common species such as hedgehogs and toads. There have also been major declines in farmland birds since the 1960’s such as Tree Sparrows 97%, Corn Buntings 87% and Turtle Doves 85%.  

What we need to do?:
Create a city with a robust, well managed network of wildlife-rich and accessible natural places which support a wide range of animals and plants and provides plentiful opportunities for local people to actively engage with and better understand their natural surroundings.

What is Peterborough is already working on?:

  • Peterborough has one of the highest ratios of green space per person in the UK.
  • The Hampton Nature reserve has the largest population of Great Crested Newts in Europe.
  • Peterborough has 5 Green Flag Awards.
  • Local Wildlife Sites in positive management have increased from 57% in 2008 to 81% in 2012.
  • Nene Park Trust, one of the first park trusts established in the UK, manages almost 2,000 acres of green space in the city, is recognised internationally for its work, and receives over 1.5 million visits a year across Nene Park.
  • The Barn Owl Recovery Project has increased the number of nesting pairs from approx. 5 to 65 pairs in the east of Peterborough between 1990-2012.
  • Werrington Brook Drain County Wildlife Site supports the largest population of Four-spotted Moth (UK BAP priority species) in the UK.
  • Cambs & Peterborough Environmental Records Centre holds over 15,000 protected & BAP priority species records for the city to help inform the planning process and protect wildlife. 
  • The Forest for Peterborough has a 20 year vision to plant one tree for every resident in the city (184,500) and has so far planted over 8,000 trees.
  • Funding has been secured for a Woodland Heritage Project to encourage greater community involvement & interest in the city’s ancient woodlands.
  • Peterborough has a thriving conservation volunteer network with a range of events & activities run by groups including the Wildlife Trust, PECT, Nene Park Trust, Peterborough Conservation Vols & Langdyke Countryside Trust.
  • The recently launched Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone RSPB initiative aims to reverse declines for six priority farmland bird species.


  • Since 1800, England has lost about 500 different species.

Targets to 2020: 

  • Increase the number of local sites in positive management to 82% and maintain going forwards.
  • Plant 24,000 trees in specific parts of the city to increase canopy cover as part of the Forest for Peterborough project.
  • Seek funding to develop a natural capital budget for the city. 
  • Subject to funding designate two new local nature reserves.
  • Champion net biodiversity gain in new developments.

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