Thursday, 28 July 2011

Nature Conservation Importance of Bradford Diocese Area

Did you know that the Area Covered by the Bradford Diocese has a greater area of "Site of Special Scientific Interest" than nearly every other diocese in Britain?

(Download a leaflet of the information of this post - to be added)

It is really important for Nature Conservation.

If you have appreciated the view from a mountain top or the bird singing in the park you will appreciate Nature Conservation.

The area covered by the Bradford Diocese includes half of the Yorkshire Dales National Park - (which covers well over one third of the Diocese) and in our area well over one fifth of the YDNP is Site of Special Scientific Interest...

So roughly speaking about one tenth of the Diocese is Site of Special Special Scientific Interest.

We should be very proud of that.

I have got these figures from 2 maps -
Map of Bradford Diocese -
there is a larger version
lower down this posting
with explanation
1. The map of the Bradford Diocese gained from
 2. The publication A  Biodiversity Audit of Yorkshire and the Humber (1999)

What is special about our habitats? Here are some examples.

We are at the southern limit for many plants in Britain. The high hills and limestone areas in the NW of our diocese have Arctic-Alpine relict species.  e.g. Purple saxifrage.

Half the limestone pavement in mainland Britain lies within our diocese.
(Limestone pavement is a European priority habitat)

We have areas of Peat Bog (Peat Bog is European priority habitat -) Some peat-bogs are of more nature conservation value than others - but all store carbon.

We have bluebell woods - bluebells are rare in mainland Europe.

We should be very proud of our wildlife habititats.

It is also a big responsibility - we need to protect what we have for future generations.

A Plantlife survey has shown that  over the past 100 to 150 years on average 1 species has been lost every one or two years from most counties.
And sadly this is demonstrated for the two atlases which cover our area.

We need to protect what is left.

I also feel we need to encourage people to develop the skills to recognise the wild plants.  Join a wildlife group!

Most biology teachers do no know the names of many wildflowers - so it is up to you to make an effort yourself!

This weekend I will be attending the 150th celebrations of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, - when we will have a special field Meeting at Malham Tarn. The YNU has individual Naturalists as members and it is also an "umbrella" organisation for over 40 different Natural History societies in Yorkshire. It will be wonderful to meet other enthusiasts and experts who can tell me what the lichens growing on the trees are called, what the bugs and hoverflies on the flowers are called. (see Malham Tarn near the centre of the diocese in the Craven Limestone complex SSSI)

Map of Bradford Diocese -

The area at the north is in Cumbria so therefore I have no data from the Yorkshire and Humber Biodiversity forum - but there is lots of SSSI there.

The area to the west is in the forest of Bowland and in Lancashire. there will be a little SSSI there.

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