Why brown is the new green
The loss of traditional habitats has threatened the future of many wildlife species; however, the Land Restoration Trust – an organisation that owns and manages public spaces for the benefit of local communities – has found that brownfield sites offer viable habitats for wildlife. Skylarks, lapwings and water voles are just a few examples of rare species that can be found on brownfield land.
Indeed, the most bio-diverse space in the UK is thought to be a brownfield site. Canvey Wick, which the Trust is working to acquire, is home to at least 30 Red Data Book species, as well as to three species previously thought to be extinct.
There are various reasons why rare species tend to flourish on brownfield sites. Not only can they provide diverse habitats for wildlife – including shallow pools, meadows and wetlands – but they also require very little restoration work for natural life to thrive.
Preserving existing wildlife habitats while also adapting sites to the needs of the public lies at the heart of the Trust’s work, as chief executive Euan Hall explained: “The Trust aims to find a balance between people and nature, providing areas for people to play but still providing sufficient access for people to fully experience nature.”