District Wildlife Sites

Hatter's Way

What is a District Wildlife Site?

A District Wildlife Site (DWS) is a site that has been recognized as having value for wildlife when assessed against a set of criteria, and is one tier below County Wildlife Site (CWS) in status. i.e. its biodiversity interest is not great enough for recognition as a CWS but is still worthy of recognition and protection if possible. With appropriate management a DWS may attain CWS quality and status.

District Wildlife Sites are a new category of site, initiated in 2012 and currently only being recognized within the area of Luton Borough Council. The initial site surveys have been completed and their findings assessed. As a result 16 DWSs have been recognized (by 25/02/2015). DWSs will now be recognized, deleted or amended only when new information is received.

Recognition as a DWS does not confer protection on the site, or right of access, however for any significant change of land use the planning authorities will expect the wildlife interest to be taken into account alongside other normal planning considerations. Local conservation organisations may comment on planning applications that could affect a DWS.

DWS Selection

DWSs are recognized by the DWS Panel which operates according to these Terms of Reference (.PDF)

The DWS Panel assesses potential sites against these Selection Guidelines (.PDF)

The DWS Panel has so far contained representatives from the following organizations, though other organizations may become represented:

  • Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Recording and Monitoring Centre
  • Bedfordshire Natural History Society
  • Luton Borough Council
  • The Greensand Trust
  • The Wildlife Trust

Site Details

The BRMC will prepare citations for all DWSs and make them available via our data request service. These living documents will be updated to include any new information obtained by site surveys. Species lists will be available from our species database and images of some sites may be found in Bedscape. As some DWSs are privately owned we will not openly put DWS information into the public domain, but details can be obtained from the BRMC by those with a need to know.