The climate and nature emergencies we all face are inherently linked. As such neither can be tackled independently of the other. Working towards its twin Climate and Biodiversity Action Plans, Dundee City Council has set ambitious targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045 whilst managing more climate resilient urban green spaces for wildlife and communities together.
Grasslands and wildflower meadows are biodiversity refuges, a vital source of forage for pollinating insects and more effective at sequestering carbon than woodlands, yet 97% of these crucial refuges have been lost since the 1940s.
Across Dundee, green space comprises an impressive 62% of the city's urban area, and more than two thirds of this is publicly accessible. This project aims to bolster wildlife by dedicating more than 57 hectares (2.5%) of this green space to the benefit of biodiversity and climate resilience.
The objective of the project, in partnership with local communities, is to return portions of amenity grassland across 27 selected public greenspaces to more naturalised grasslands and wildflower meadows. Over the course of the next few years the project will see the establishment of a series of species-rich pollinator pathways stretching from camperdown Park in the North West of the city, across to Broughty Ferry in the South East.
Online consultation (limited due to COVID-19 restrictions) with community groups highlighted three quarters of respondents were in favour of the proposed plans.
These biodiverse pockets will help conserve dwindling native plant, animal and fungi species, lock up carbon and provide much needed inspiration, education and engagement opportunities for local communities.
Ensure that the local community are involved and on board right from the initial planning phases, making use of as many consultation formats as possible. COVID restrictions limited the ways in which we consulted people. Only online consultation methods were used, but it would have been useful to extend this to face to face meetings with local groups and talking to green space users.