Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Fauna and flora

Where are we now?

The Park is a natural resource of local, regional, national and international importance. It offers a rich variety of habitats and species and, provides great recreational and leisure interest.


There are eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the Regional Park, all of which are defined as in ‘favourable condition’ by Natural England (2007). Amwell, Rye Meads, Turnford and Cheshunt Pits, as well as Walthamstow Reservoirs, form the Lea Valley Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar sites. These are of international importance. The Authority has a legal requirement to maintain features of interest (e.g. the SSSIs and the internationally recognised RAMSAR and SPA sites); continued enhancement of these sites is essential if its status is to be maintained.


A range of other non-statutory sites occur within the Park. They include 31 County Wildlife Sites, 11 Areas of Metropolitan Importance and 26 areas of Borough Importance.


Conservation of the Park’s wildlife and habitats is directed by the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). This sets out the targets, aims and aspirations of all partners and stakeholders with the purpose of enhancing biodiversity within the Park boundaries. Habitat Action Plans (HAP) have been prepared for rivers and streams, open water, floodplain grassland and fen, wet woodland and the built environment. For wildlife, Species Action Plans (SAP) have been prepared for the Park’s Otter, Water Vole, Bittern, Early Marsh Orchid

What do we want to achieve?

To continue to enhance the existing ecological resource; to recover and restore habitats and ensure they are resilient to climate change.


Wherever possible to expand the range of ecological values throughout the Park, in order to enhance the habitats and ecosystems beyond the Park boundary.

We believe there are four main areas that will help us to achieve this:-

1. Lee Valley Ramsar Site and Special Protection Area and Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Lee Valley Ramsar Site and Special Protection Area and Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • The Lee Valley Ramsar site and SPA (together with the eight SSSI’s in the Park) are high priority features, and are of significance on a regional, national and international scale.
  • We want to ensure that any future development and management of the Park protects and enhances the biodiversity that these sites provide, and that any impact of future development beyond the Park boundary is also mitigated.

2. Locally designated Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation

2. Locally designated Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
  • The range of designated Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation throughout the Park, are of immense local value.
  • We want to ensure that any future development and management of these sites will protect and enhance biodiversity, in line with the needs and aspirations of the Park
  • We also want to ensure that future development and management of the wider Park, and surrounding land, will not impact detrimentally on the biodiversity of these sites.

3. The rest of the Park

3. The rest of the Park
  • We believe that all areas can offer value and can contribute to the development of the Park as a regional scale biodiversity resource.
  • We want to ensure that any future development and management of the wider Park will appropriately balance the protection and enhancement of biodiversity with other uses, needs and aspirations.
  • We also want to ensure that the future development and management of land around the Park will not have any detrimental impact, and wherever possible will make a positive contribution to the biodiversity of the Park.

4. Beyond the Park boundaries

4. Beyond the Park boundaries
  • The Park is an important part of a larger biodiverse resource in the region, and therefore effective ecological connections beyond the Park boundary are essential.
  • We want to make sure that existing ecological connections are protected, enhanced, and where possible, new connections are created.
  • We will use our role as a statutory planning consultee to protect buffer areas from unacceptable developments which could adversely impact on the Park’s biodiversity values.

How will we deliver?

On our estate

We will:

  • Ensure that we meet all statutory requirements to protect and enhance designated sites, particularly those sites that lie within the Lee Valley Special Protection Area and Sites of Special Scientific Importance.
  • Undertake a long-term investment programme of habitat protection, enhancement and management that will maximise biodiversity values throughout the Park.
  • Prioritise our resources on activities that will deliver the greatest biodiversity value for the resources available.
  • Continue to refine the Lee Valley Biodiversity Action Plan, and Site Management Plans, in order to provide detailed guidance for ongoing development and management of the Park.

Working with others

  • We will continue to work in partnership with other landowners and managers within the Park to ensure development and land management practices give appropriate consideration to biodiversity values, and contribute positively to the wider ecological network of the Park.
  • We will continue to work in partnership and assist with the delivery of other complementary BAP targets to enhance the biodiversity of the Park and help create large scale resilient ecosystems.

Beyond the Park boundaries

  • We will continue to work in partnership with other landowners and managers outside the Park boundary to enhance existing ecological connectivity, create new ecological links, and increase biodiversity values across the region.

Ecological resource

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