Parish countryside survey
The landscape around us influences the character of our place and how we feel about it.
The countryside of Leicestershire and Rutland has greatly altered and continues to do so at an accelerating rate. On the edges of towns and larger villages, farmland has been lost to houses and factories, whilst new roads are increasingly taking great swathes of our countryside. This changes the character of our landscape, often destroying areas identified as being important for wildlife.
Changes in farming practice have also altered the environment. The ploughing up of old pasture, filling-in of ponds, and removal of hedgerows have all brought a change to the character of our area. Drainage schemes have led to the drying up of marshy meadows, and stream courses have been straightened and deepened, bringing modern efficiency to the natural countryside.
This all leads to a reduced diversity of the area and a loss of detail. It is an irreplaceable loss of our natural heritage and its associated wildlife, that diminishes the character of the county's landscape and countryside that we leave for future generations.
Wildlife, Countryside and Natural Heritage Surveys
Wildlife surveys, natural heritage surveys, landscape surveys, and countryside surveys are all about looking at the local countryside, wildlife, the habitats and what is happening to the natural environment around us.
A local natural heritage and wildlife survey is a chance to identify what valuable areas remain in your local area and to identify those that local people feel should be protected. A wildlife and landscape survey will provide an important update on land use, landscape features, wildlife habitats and conservation opportunities in your parish. It will provide a better understanding of the local environment, how it fits with the wider landscape and could form a basis for its protection and enhancement in the future. It is also a chance to enjoy and discover what is valuable in your locality.
Community groups and individuals can play an important role in identifying Wildlife Sites and monitoring their health. Community recorders can also help with monitoring land use and targeting particular wildlife habitats for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Biodiversity Action Plan.
A survey of the local natural heritage and wildlife provides an opportunity for local people to study their patch. It provides a purpose to get out and about, looking at the surroundings in a new way and deepens our understanding of what was, and is shaping the local countryside. It provides an ideal opportunity for different groups, such as a local school, amenity society or Women's Institute to work together. A survey, like many community projects, has the potential to bring together all sectors of the community, providing opportunities for everyone to get involved and play a role in protecting their environment.
Download the full Natural Heritage, Wildlife and Countryside Survey Pack (pdf document, 843k) for more guidance.
Produced by the Community Heritage Initiative, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Rutland County Council
Page Last Updated: 9 May 2007