Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Camden’s green spaces allow people to experience nature close at hand as well providing homes for a multitude of plants and animals. There are many reasons why Camden Council is committed to conserving and enhancing nature:

- Access to the natural environment can improve people’s health and wellbeing - whether doing physical activity or simply relaxing in a green space: being in nature can make a real difference to your health.

- Nature can help young people to engage with learning in a way that might not be possible in a classroom, boosting confidence, creativity and concentration.

- Green spaces can help alleviate the effects of climate change – trees and vegetation can provide shade, reduce air temperatures, help prevent local flooding and reduce pollution.

- Making space for nature across the borough – with a a network of wildlife habitats - will help nature to adapt to climate change

- Camden is home to a number of species that are protected by law, including at least nine species of bat. It’s our legal and statutory duty to safeguard these species.

We are conserving and enhancing nature by:

- Offering Camden residents opportunities to get involved through volunteering and wildlife recording

- Providing more space for wildlife in our green spaces through changes in management and planting;

- Working with partners to deliver activities to engage people, particularly young people, with nature;

- Working with planners and developers to ensure that regeneration projects and new developments do not harm existing wildlife and help to make our borough greener.

Camden Wildlife Sites

Camden has a wealth of common wildlife - the sorts of species that you’re likely to come across in a brief walk in your local park or along the canal such as a blackbird or moorhen. Camden is also home to some specialist species such as the peregrine falcon, which can be found nesting on tall buildings in the south of the borough, and at least nine species of bat all of which are afforded legal protection.

Habitat quantity and quality varies across the borough. Amenity grassland is the most prevalent habitat, distributed across Camden; it has very limited value for wildlife but does offer significant scope for improvement. Woodland is the second most prevalent habitat and supports a wide range of wildlife, but is located mainly in the north of the borough meaning it is not readily accessible to all Camden residents. Camden also has small areas of UK Priority habitats (those that are considered nationally important), including acid grassland and heathland, mainly located on Hampstead Heath.

Camden has a number of sites designated for their wildlife value or access to nature. We have 36 sites of importance for nature conservation and four Local Nature Reserves, as well as part of the nationally designated Hampstead Heath Woodland Site of Special Scientific Interest at the Kenwood Estate.

Camden’s Local Nature Reserves are Westbere Copse LNR, Adelaide LNR and Belsize Woods LNR all of which are open at the weekends, plus Camden Street Natural Park which is run by London Wildlife Trust and is open seven days per week.

Camden Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

The Camden Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) outlines a series of actions to ensure that biodiversity is safeguarded in the borough and that people in Camden have opportunities to get involved. The BAP runs from 2013-2018, it was developed through stakeholder consultation and is delivered by a broad partnership of organisations. There are 3 key areas of focus: Access to Nature, The Built Environment, and Open Spaces and Natural Habitats.

Download: Camden Biodiversity Action Plan Interim Review (PDF)

Download:Camden Biodiversity Action Plan 2013-18 (PDF)

Forest schools and outdoor learning

Camden’s nature reserves and some other green spaces provide a rich environment for Forest Schools and outdoor learning activities. Schools and childcare settings can book these sites for self-led activities using the booking form below. Please note that you will need to complete a risk assessment and provide evidence of your public liability insurance.

Download: Schools Nature Reserves Booking Form

The catchment area maps below will help you to locate your nearest ‘forest school site’ and other green spaces. If you are a parent and would like to carry on your child’s outdoor learning experience, most of our forest school nature sites are open to the public on weekends.

Download:Euston Area

Download: Kings Cross and Holborn Area

Download: Kilburn Area

Download: Kentish Town East Area

·Download: Kentish Town West Area

All childcare settings are required to abide to Camden’s Code of Conduct when using a forest school nature site. This outlines the safety measures and best practice within a site.

·Download: Camden Schools Nature Reserves Code of Conduct (PDF)

Nature Watch

You can help understand more about wildlife in the borough by spotting wildlife in your local area and recording it in the Camden Nature Watch Survey.  To find our more and access the online and printed surveys click on the link below

Camden Nature Watch Survey

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