Local Wildlife Sites are areas of importance for nature conservation at a local level and are selected according to a specific set of criteria.
Although they receive no legal protection, these sites must be considered by the Council before allocating them as land for development and when determining planning applications.
Local Wildlife Sites are identified and selected locally using scientifically determined criteria and detailed surveys.
Specific criteria are used for identifying Local Wildlife Sites in Essex which have been devised by a range of organisations involved in nature conservation across the County.
The last full review of Local Wildlife Sites in Castle Point took place in 2012. At that time 42 Local Wildlife Sites were identified in the Borough. A further seven sites with the potential to become Local Wildlife Sites were identified.
Castle Point Council are now undertaking a review of these Local Wildlife Sites and potential Local Wildlife Sites to understand how they have changed over time.
This review provides the opportunity to determine if there are any new Local Wildlife Sites in Castle Point. That is any new sites that have evolved with habitats or species populations that now meet the selection criteria for a Local Wildlife Site.
They will be asking organisations with a nature conservation interest to nominate potential sites. The authority also want to give residents the opportunity to identify any sites they believe meet the selection criteria, and should be considered as part of the Local Wildlife Site Review.
Castle Point Council would therefore like to know about any land that you believe may qualify as a Local Wildlife Site. The types of habitats that could be designated as part of this process include:
Species rich grassland
Coastal and freshwater wetlands
Sites that support significant populations of rare wild flowers, reptiles, amphibians, uncommon breeding bird species, roosting bats or invertebrates may also be suitable.
Why your views matter?
Local residents have a diverse range of interests, and there will be residents who are interested in nature conservation and know a lot about wildlife sites in Castle Point. These people have a key role to play in helping the Council identify those wildlife sites that are important and should be protected.
All nominated sites will be assessed and where appropriate visited to see if they meet any of the selection criteria.