Leading the Way - Landscape Scale Conservation

Nature Improvement Area

Credit: @WTBBC

Leading the Way in Landscape Scale Conservation

In 2012 Birmingham and the Black Country was one of twelve areas designated a Nature Improvement Area (NIA) by the government - uniquely, our NIA is wholly urban. NIAs are one of the government's flagship approaches to tackling the problems that the natural environment of England is facing. They were introduced to 'enhance and reconnect nature on a significant scale' It represents a massive change, away from site-focused nature conservation to a joined up landscape scale approach.

Making hay at Kitchen Lane

Credit: @WTBBC

We lead more than 60 partners in delivering the NIA vision - the culmination of decades of working towards our vision of an urban landscape permeated by a network of high quality greenspace which is rich in wildlife and enjoyed by the people who live and work here.

Together we've identified a number of nature improvement priorities which we are delivering with our partners across Birmingham and the Black Country, and which together will help create an urban landscape through which wildlife can move freely. We are restoring our surviving features of historic countryside such as meadows and hedgerows, improving woodlands, grasslands and wetlands of our parks and open spaces and creating entirely new green corridors and stepping stones for wildlife and people.

Nature Improvement Areas provide one of the best opportunities in years to turn around the declines we are seeing in the natural world around us

Professor John Lawton, Chair, NIA panel

Roe deer in wildflower meadow

Credit: Donald Sutherland

In 2015 we secured continuation funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation following the first three year period funded by DEFRA.

Rolling a hay bale at Castle Vale meadow

Credit: Reg James

We work on a wide variety of sites, from formal parks and nature reserves to canals, schools and churchyards, with all kinds of people and many different partners in the charity, business and public sectors. Email nia@bbcwildlife.org.uk or call us on 0121 523 0094 to get involved