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Biodiversity and wildlife

Willesborough DykesAshford's green spaces and waterways are incredibly important, providing a huge range of benefits including flood protection, wildlife conservation, recreational space, leisure activities, education and cultural experiences.

Ashford is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, and contains a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and National Nature Reserves (NNR) chosen because of their national importance for wildlife.

Ashford already has a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) at the South Willesborough Dykes - a wetland habitat home to a wide variety of plants, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small mammals - and there are plans to increase other areas with rich biodiversity within the borough.

Key Projects

  • Singleton Environment Centre - the first centre of its kind in the borough, this brand new building is a multi-purpose venue next to the Ashford Community Woodland for local community, volunteer and environmental groups.
  • Willesborough Dykes - this 780 acre site of floodplain land will become a major new recreational area, with new cycle paths, whilst protecting and enhancing the invaluable wildlife habitats and landscape features.
  • Urban Fringe Project - a project to restore the traditional landscape and create quality wildlife habitat in the 94 hectares of public open spaces close to the urban areas of Ashford.
  • Wildlife Mitigation Sites  - a project that will make it easier for developers to relocate protected wildlife from their sites on to safe green land within the borough, and will also generate captial towards managing and enhancing Ashford's open spaces

Take a look at the Kent Biodiversity Action Plan for further information and how you can get involved in conserving biodiversity, or see Ashford's areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas and SSSI with the ABC mapping of areas