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OU on the BBC: Saving Species: Series 3, Episode 3

Updated Monday, 17th September 2012

Can Britain's wildlife flourish in the face of constant pressures of land development? The Saving Species team investigate

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Shrill carder bee: bombus sylvarum Creative commons image Icon Bombus sylvarum / Alain C. / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 under Creative-Commons license Bombus sylvarum, the shrill carder bee Saving Species asks: with increasing pressures to develop our land for housing, transport and industry, is their still room for Britain's wildlife to flourish?

Recently the Government set out proposals to extend development rights into the Green Belt as an aid to economic growth.

While some sectors of the economy welcome this move, others such as conservation groups predict a backlash of public opinion similar to that of the recent Government plans to sell off public woodland.

Could other sites such as brown-field, be developed in preference?

To investigate this, Brett Westwood discovers the importance of brown-field sites on a visit to Canvey Wick in the Thames Estuary.

He is accompanied by Sarah Henshall, Brownfield Manager from the charity, Buglife.

Here in the 40 years since the industry moved out, the biodiversity contained within this SSSI is staggering, including iconic species like the shrill carder bee.

But can lessons learned here be used in brown-field sites across the United Kingdom?

And is the negative connotations of the word brown-field even one of the problems in degrading these areas as wildlife hot-spots, in preference for development?

Listen to Saving Species

You can listen to this episode of Saving Species on BBC Radio 4 at 11:00 on Tuesday 18 September. More information and a link to listen again can be found on the Radio 4 website.

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