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wheaton aston fieldThe landscape and wildlife heritage of South Staffordshire is rich and varied and it is an important objective of the Local Plan to include policies which seek to conserve this heritage for the future. 

 

The protection of the countryside has a wider significance as it provides opportunities for informal recreation and leisure for the residents of the District and adjoining areas. 

 

It is also a key element in the area’s ability to promote itself as an attractive place in which to live and work, as well as to visit.

 

The predominant landscape structure based upon a pattern of trees, hedgerows and small woods has changed significantly over the centuries, although remnants of the old structure still remain. 

 

Many trees and hedgerows have been removed by agricultural activity, and years of mineral extraction and opencast mining of coal have eroded much of the small-scale pattern of fields and woodlands in parts of the District. Substantial areas of open heathland have given way to forestry and woodland regeneration.  

 

The rapid development of settlements since the Second World War has also affected the character of the landscape.  The high quality of the landscape owes much to the planting associated with its historic parklands and gardens and these are acknowledged as important features in the landscape of the District.

 

Throughout the District there remains strong demand for development and land use change for housing, employment, recreation, leisure and tourism.  There is strong encouragement for farmers to diversify and to find other uses for agricultural land and for the conversion and reuse of redundant farm buildings.

 

The District is an important nature conservation resource with notable areas of heathland, unimproved grassland, ancient woodland, open water and linear features such as rivers, streams and canals that support a wealth of wildlife.  However, within the last 25 years some habitats have been lost including marshy grassland and flower-rich meadows and there has been a decline in certain species such as water voles, brown hares and skylarks. 

 

Wildlife habitats and other natural features remain under threat from pollution, development and land use change including agriculture, mineral extraction, motorways and other built development.  In recent years there has been a change in emphasis in agriculture towards the conservation, management and enhancement of the natural qualities of the countryside.  The public has also become more interested and involved in nature conservation and appreciate the value of the landscape and environment in general.

 

Links:

 

Landscape Planning Services

 

External Link: British Waterways

External Link: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

 
Contact:

 

Grounds Maintenance and Bereavement Services
Telephone: (01902) 696405
Fax: (01902) 846553
Email: grounds@sstaffs.gov.uk

 

 

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