Local Wildlife Sites

Species-rich grassland (GWT)Species-rich grassland (GWT)

Local Wildlife Sites are some of the very best places for wildlife outside of statutory protected sites. Across the UK, Wildlife Trusts are working to locate and survey these special sites and work with their respective owners to safeguard the sites for the future.

What are Local Wildlife Sites?

Local Wildlife Sites are a way of recognising some of the best places for wildlife locally.They are areas considered to be of particular conservation value because of the habitat or variety of species they support. Sites are assessed against a set of local criteria which include looking for key indicator species.

Local Wildlife Sites play a critical conservation role by providing wildlife refuges, protecting threatened species and habitats, and acting as links and corridors between nationally designated sites such as National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

How do sites become Local Wildlife Sites?

Local Wildlife Sites in Monmouthshire have been found in a number of ways. GWT's Gwent Grasslands Initiative Project (2005-2007) focused on species-rich grasslands and revisited sites that historically had been recorded as good for wildflowers. The Monmouthshire Meadows Group has also played an important role in locating species-rich grasslands of Local Wildlife Site quality. Currently, GWT's Monmouthshire Natural Assets Project is working to locate more Local Wildlife Sites, focusing not just on grasslands but other habitat types too.

Sites are subject to a botanical survey and are assessed against the Criteria for the Selection of Local Wildlife Sites in Monmouthshire. Each site is approved or otherwise by the Monmouthshire Local Wildlife Sites Panel, which includes representatives from Gwent Wildlife Trust, Monmouthshire County Council, Countryside Council for Wales and the Monmouthshire Meadows Group

Gwent Wildlife Trust and the Monmouthshire Meadows Group have already identified over 300 Local Wildlife Sites in Monmouthshire, but there are still more to be discovered!

 What does it mean to be a Local Wildlife Site?

Local Wildlife Sites are a voluntary system to encourage and support landowners to learn about the special wildlife on their land and how to care for it.We will not tell you how you should manage your land – we only give you advice about your Local Wildlife Site, you make the final decision on how you manage your land.

Importantly, being a Local Wildlife Site:

  • Places no legal restrictions on your agricultural operations or management decisions. 
  • Does not create new rights of way on your land.
  • May help protect the site from adverse development but does not commit owners to anything.
  • Is intended as recognition that a site is one of the best places for wildlife in Monmouthshire and a cause to be proud.
  • Does not mean we freely access your land – we always gain your agreement prior to any visits.

There are a range of benefits from owning a Local Wildlife Site and many of these are listed below. For more information contact Rebecca Price, Monmouthshire Natural Assets Project Officer on rprice@gwentwildlife.org 

We can provide free of charge:

  • A Local Wildlife Site Information Card detailing the importance of the site for wildlife and outlining its boundary.

  • Advice on accessing small grants schemes to help with capital works projects that support the restoration and enhancement of Local Wildlife Sites (click here for infomation on current grant scheme).

  • Invitations to Wildlife Site Landowner Days where Gwent Wildlife Trust staff and guest experts will be available to answer questions, give talks/walks, and run workshops on relevant management skills.

  • Advice about how to manage your Local Wildlife Site with wildlife in mind.

  • Background information on your site inclduing information relating to its main wildlife features.

  • Copies of ‘Natural Assets’ – an annual newsletter for Local Wildlife Sites.

  • Advice on contractors to help carry out essential works on your site.





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Mon'shire Local Wildlife Sites Leaflet.pdf127.75 KB