Have your say on plans to protect and enhance Hackney s wildlife

Hackney Council wants to know what local people think of its plans to protect and enhance wildlife over the next five years.

Hackney’s parks and green spaces provide opportunities for people to experience nature close at hand as well as providing valuable spaces for urban wildlife. Covering 97 hectares of natural habitat such as woodland, meadow and rivers – equivalent of 160 football pitches, they are home to a number of important plants and animals including bats, house sparrows and Britain s rarest native tree the Black Poplar.

Wildlife is also found in the built and urban environment. Buildings and structures can provide homes for a range of creatures, including bats, birds and plants.

In an urban area like Hackney, biodiversity plays a vital role in cleaning the air, reducing the effect of the urban heat island (hot temperatures in summer) and helping to control water run-off and so reduce flooding. It has also been shown that contact with the natural environment can improve wellbeing and reduce stress.

Hackney Council is committed to improving biodiversity across the borough and is working to create more spaces for wildlife in our parks. The draft Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has identified six priority habitats including school grounds and woodlands like Abney Park. It also identifies the most important species found there and the ones that are being targeted from the swift and honeysuckle to the Jay and a Maiden’s blush moth.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture explained: “Improving biodiversity and protecting the range of plants and animals we have in Hackney is a priority for the Council. We want to know what you think of our proposals to conserve and enhance these precious areas in Hackney over the next six years.”

The Council is running a 12 weeks consultation from 1 August to 24 October 2011 on the draft Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). To give your views go to

For more information on biodiversity in Hackney contact Kate Mitchell, Biodiversity Officer at 020 8356 3438 or

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