Have your say on enhancing our natural world
22nd August 2022
Residents are being invited to have their say on the management of the trees, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and hedgerows of Three Rivers as part of efforts to ensure the diversity of plant and animal life in the district is best protected and enhanced.
Views are being sought on Three Rivers District Council’s newly published Biodiversity Opportunities Audit. The audit identifies opportunities throughout the district such as tree planting, hedge planting and also grassland management.
The council has already adopted an Alternative Grassland Management regime to improve the plant and animal life, known as biodiversity, within the district’s grassland, which it is responsible for maintaining.
Cllr Phil Williams, the council's Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: “With wildflowers emerging, grasses swaying in the breeze and an array of invertebrates being heard throughout our meadows, the benefit of this habitat management is being observed already. At Fortune Common in Rickmansworth, a blanket of buttercups covered the meadow in May creating opportunities for pollinators and providing a colourful sight.
“So you can already see our new grassland management regime in action. Now I am inviting you to have your say and what we are doing, and what we could be doing in the future. Don’t delay, have your say today.”
Since the Alternative Grassland Management regime has been in action on both sides of Leavesden Country Park pyramidal orchids have been growing. This species - which holds up to 100 flowers per stem - has disappeared from 20% of the areas it once occupied – according to the Wildlife Trust. Meanwhile, at Coombe Hill Road open space, wildflower seeds are already naturally spreading; Hawksbeard, which create yellow flowers use the wind to move its seeds around the grassland increasing coverage for the following year.
Trees are also being planted throughout the district, both as part of the Biodiversity Opportunities Audit and the Queens’ Green Canopy. Not only will these young trees provide food or shelter to local wildlife but in years to come they will be ready to take the place of older trees, filling the gap they will leave. Later this year two small woodlands will also be created, introducing new habitats to local green space which will help with carbon capture, creating shade and supporting a wealth of wildlife.
For more information on the Alternative Grassland Management and to view the Biodiversity Opportunities Audit please visit: https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/grassland-management
Complete the public consultation survey here: https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/consultations