Protect brownfield or ex-industrial sites in urban areas
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Brownfield sites include land that was once used for industrial or other human activity but is then left disused or partially used, for example disused quarries or mines, demolished or derelict factory sites, derelict farm buildings, derelict railways or contaminated land. Natural recolonization of these sites can result in valuable habitats for wildlife and provide migration corridors in built-up or disturbed areas.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2005 in an area of mixed ponds, grassland and scrub in Peterborough, UK (Langton 2006) found that following protection of an ex-industrial site, the area was occupied by grass snakes Natrix helvetica and common lizards Zootoca vivipara. A total of 87 grass snakes and 76 common lizards were recorded at the site. Authors reported that adders Vipera berus and slow worms Anguis fragilis were also present at the site (no data provided). In the 1940s to the late 1990s, the area was used for clay extraction for brick making, resulting in a landscape characterised by a series of ridges and furrows. In 1995, part of the site was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and in 2005 it was designated as a Special Area of Conservation. Authors reported that a range of habitat and species management activities were carried out on the site, including controlling scrub, construction of artificial refuges and releases of grass snakes and common lizards. In 2005, reptile surveys were conducted by placing 90 corrugated iron refugia (1 m2) throughout vegetated locations on the site. Refugia were visited 22 times (roughly weekly visits) and all reptiles were counted.Study and other actions tested