Common Toad © Nev Gurnhill

Wildlife is a key element of the natural beauty of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB.  The Lincolnshire Biodiversity Action Plan 3rd Edition (2011) and Lincolnshire Wolds Character Area profile recognise farmland, grassland, roadside verges, woodland, beech clumps, rivers and streams, and hedgerows as important habitat types within the AONB.  The importance of protecting and enhancing wildlife has been highlighted with the clear ‘biodiversity duty' placed upon relevant authorities through the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (the NERC Act).  There is a requirement for all local authorities to address National Indicator 160 - Local Nature Conservation/Biodiversity, for the purposes of reporting and encouraging the proportion of Local Sites in positive management.

Pyramidal orchid at Red Hill copyright Nev Gurnhill

There are a number of nationally protected sites in the AONB, with 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) designated on account of their wildlife interest.  These are usually located on the steeper slopes of the Wolds or within the valley bottoms, and include nine SSSIs of alkaline – acidic grassland/marshland, four SSSIs of ancient and semi-natural woodland and one nationally important bat colony.  Natural England and other partners are working closely with landowners to review and improve the status of these nationally designated sites including specialist advice and targeted support. 

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