Biodiversity in Test Valley
Biodiversity, or biological diversity, includes all living things in the natural world, ranging from the smallest plants to the largest animals. It relates to rare and common species, as well as the interaction between them and the habitats they live in.
Across Test Valley you can find a range of habitats and species, many of which are considered to be nationally or internationally important, and are therefore protected through legal designations. Some of the habitats in the Borough include:
- Woodlands and heathlands
- Grasslands (including chalk downlands) which can be home to rare butterflies, birds and orchids
- Wetlands, these can support rare plants and be home to wading birds
A range of factors can affect biodiversity, on a global to local scale, including habitat loss and pollution. We can all play a part in helping to support the environment around us. More information is available from this page, and the links provided, with some suggestions for how you can help support biodiversity.
Nature Reserves in Test Valley
There are a number of nature reserves located across the Borough, including those that the Council is responsible for. More information on these nature reserves is available on the Council’s website, such as background information about the sites (including the habitats and species they support and how we manage them), as well as how you can get to them and how you can get involved.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust also is responsible for additional nature reserves within Test Valley. More information on where to find the reserves and details about them is available here: https://www.hiwwt.org.uk/nature-reserves
There are additional areas across the Borough that are managed for nature conservation by a range of organisations, including Stockbridge Down Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is owned and managed by the National Trust.
Things you can do
Everyone can help to conserve and enhance the environment in which we live, work and spend our leisure time. This could be at our homes, in the way we use spaces around us and through supporting others to manage other areas.
If you have some outdoor space at home, have you thought about ways you can support local wildlife? You don’t need a big space to help make a difference. For example, you could look at flowers for a window box that provide a source of nectar and pollen to butterflies and bees. You can also think about using native species of plants, providing areas of shelter and sources of water, installing bird and bat boxes, and creating gaps under garden fences for hedgehogs to move around. More information and suggestions are available from some of the website links on this page.
You can also get involved in citizen science projects. There are a number of schemes and resources available. This includes events organised by others, such as the Big Garden Birdwatch and the Big Butterfly Count.