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Richmond upon Thames is one of the richest boroughs in London in terms of the total area of green space, the quality and diversity of parks, open spaces and conservation areas, and the wealth of different habitats and species these areas support. We want to protect these spaces to ensure we maintain the biodiversity and ecosystems in the borough.

Find out we will support nature in our borough:

Our objective

We will improve and protect the biodiversity and ecology of our green spaces and protect them against the negative impacts of climate change. We will facilitate and support quality networks of green infrastructure capable of supporting biodiversity and resilience against climate change and ensure the consideration of biodiversity both in policy and practice across the Council’s services. We will maintain the parks and open spaces of Richmond as centres of excellence, make them fully accessible, ensuring high standards across all parks and opens spaces managed by the Council.

Our key target is to plant more trees.

In Richmond, like other London boroughs, there are ever-increasing demands on land for new housing, schools, industry, commerce and recreation which could potentially threaten habitats and species. Biodiversity and sustainable development are inextricably linked, as the wealth of species and habitats can be seen as an indicator of our environment and general wellbeing.

There is considerable evidence that there has been a decline in biodiversity on a global, national and local scale over the years. Therefore, there is a need to conserve the complex and dynamic systems in Richmond which support a wide range of fauna and flora, many of which, such as the Skylark, are threatened on a local and global scale.

Regional climate has a major influence on biodiversity and a potentially changing climate could have a major impact on the borough’s biodiversity. Richmond is biodiversity rich, however managing biodiversity in the borough is challenging due to a number of competing factors, including shortage of available land for development, increasing usage of existing green space, social value and benefit of access to our parks and open spaces.

How we will protect our nature

The Council has a number of policies regarding how it will protect and enhance nature conservation in the borough. This includes the local Biodiversity Action Plan And the Council’s Tree Policy.

Specific highlights within these strategies and the Climate Emergency Strategy include:

  • We will work with schools to promote the rewilding of playing fields, and support the Thames Landscape Strategy’s Rewilding Arcadia project
  • We will cease the installation of artificial grass at Council facilities (except for at purpose-built sports facilities)
  • We will identify areas of opportunity for planting more trees across the borough as a whole
  • We will launch a Tree Warden Scheme to help the community support and nurture trees in their local area
  • We will improve the environmental practices within parks, including increasing non-chemical weed treatments, increasing the area of meadows in parks, naturalising existing meadows and reducing our use of peat
  • We will promote green infrastructure through our planning policies
  • Investigate the creation of an urban farm for education purposes
  • We will promote available grant schemes to encourage appropriate habitat management

Updated: 04 July 2022

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