The wildlife that survives in cities, towns and villages is considerable and there are many opportunities for enhancement. Many open spaces could support a wider range of species by simple changes in management, such as reducing the frequency of mowing. The enhancement of gardens for wildlife also offers much potential; garden ponds are now extremely important for amphibians such as frogs and newts. Habitat creation on existing open space and also through development could increase the number of areas of wildlife friendly habitat.
Wildlife in towns and villages is an essential link with the countryside. It provides a refuge for some of the species and habitats that are under pressure in rural areas. The urban environment also consists of buildings and other structures which can be of importance to wildlife, such as churchyards for lichens.
People’s contact with wildlife increases their quality of life and can help relieve the stresses and strains of everyday living. The involvement of local communities in encouraging wildlife in towns and villages is very important. This is an area where local people can really make a difference.
The Urban Habitat Action Plans have been updated in 2008 and outline the action to be taken in Cambridgeshire over the next years to help preserve and enhance these habitats and species. Brief overview sheets (1 page A4) are available to get inspired to take action.