Somerset Wildlife Trust

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The Bigger Picture: A Taunton Living Landscape

Where are we now?bigger picture

Despite continued growth, Taunton remains a wildlife-rich place, thanks in no
small part to the exceptional landscape within which it sits. Otters, water voles, bats and birds of all shapes and sizes live amongst the people, traffic, houses and businesses. The town's seven local nature reserves, three large green wedges, parks and gardens are all valuable wildlife reservoirs, providing space for a range of species to live. The River Tone, its banks and tributaries are important natural features in Taunton’s built environment, linking up wildlife habitat across the town, and providing a home to many species of plant and animal. Road verges and hedgerows form additional links in the habitat network across the town.

What is the threat to wildlife, and to people?

Although Taunton has some wildlife havens, there is huge pressure to develop the green spaces in and around the town. This can lead to habitat loss, fragmentation and isolation and result in wildlife becoming rarer and less abundant, making Taunton a poorer, greyer place to live. As well as environmental implications, this can have cultural, social and economic consequences too. We know that a town that has an abundance of rich and vibrant green spaces, full of wildlife, is not only good for that wildlife but, by making the town a richer, more pleasant place to work and play, it is good for people too. That future for Taunton depends on us all taking action now.

How can we safeguard wildlife into the future?

To address these challenges, a Living Landscape approach is needed, and that means coupling strategic effort, with on-the-ground grass-roots action. By working across the whole community - from local residents to local government, from businesses to charities ­- everyone with an interest in Taunton can be brought together to do their bit for our wildlife. Taunton Living Landscape has brought together the community to enhance and connect green and blue spaces, creating a joined-up network of natural spaces where wildlife can thrive, and people can feel alive. The Routes to the River Tone project the first step in creating that wider Taunton Living Landscape.

If you'd like to find out more about what's behind our Living Landscape projects across Somerset then follow this link.