Managing land for biodiversity and wildlife conservation

woman trimming hedgerow

Forming green corridors to allow wildlife to travel is hugely beneficial to them

Wildlife will readily colonise new areas and creating the right mixture of habitats will attract the greatest variety of wildlife, ensuring ongoing biodiversity and a varied ecosystem.

Rivers, bridleways, disused railways, walking and cycling paths are all examples of potential greenways that connect people to each other and to nature while also supporting a wildlife network. 

Achieving wildlife conservation and improving biodiversity in parks and alongside roads is entirely possible with appropriate management.

Connectivity is as crucial for wildlife as it is for people. Forming ‘wildlife networks’ that allow both to move and adapt can be achieved by creating green corridors.

Balancing travel corridors and biodiversity

High maintenance, overly manicured green spaces are becoming a thing of the past. Balancing the needs of wildlife, people and the environment requires a different approach.

However, it is possible to balance these needs in order to create ecosystems where wildlife can flourish, ensuring biodiversity and conserving the habitats of our species.

Our handbook aims to provide an introduction to achieving this balance based on our and our partners’ extensive experience of managing the greenways of the National Cycle Network. 

So whether you manage walking and cycling paths, bridleways, towpaths, old railways, forest roads or any other green, linear space this handbook offers practical advice and examples of best practice. 

Our Greenway management handbook offers useful tips and advice on:

  • land ownership
  • nature conservation sites
  • presence of legally protected species and habitats
  • local government duties
  • ecological interest
  • problem species
  • managing access
  • path surface maintenance
  • signs
  • seating
  • trees and woodland
  • verges/grassland
  • hedgerows
  • drains, ditches, ponds, watercourses and wetlands
  • herbicides and pesticides
  • soil protection
  • and much more.

Green space is good for people too. Spending time outdoors and taking part in outdoor activities, from birdwatching to dog walking, makes us feel better and improves our health.

Download the Greenway management handbook