I've just bought a small paddock of about 45 square metres classified as agricultural land. I want to develop it to encourage wildlife, especially bees, butterflies and birds. How can I best use the land to achieve this ambition.
Planning rules indicate that you need to apply for change of use to make a garden out of former agricultural land - http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/planning_portal/lpg_notes/lpg14.htm
I suggest that you first have a chat with the planning officer at the local council about your paddock becoming a wildlife reserve. Assuming it's OK, you then need to make sure you control harmful weeds such as Japanese knotweed, ragwort, thistle and a couple more - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-the-spread-of-harmful-invasive-and-non-native-plants
In order to attract wildlife you need to provide food and shelter so nectar, pollen, berries, seeds and foliage that insects, other invertebrates, birds and small mammals can feed on plus piles of logs, shrubs, trees for shelter and water for them to drink and to attract amphibians.
The RHS has a list of plants for pollinators - https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/pdf/conservation-and-biodiversity/wildlife/rhs_perfectforpollinators_plantlist-jan15 and the RSPB and local wildlife trusts will be happy to advise about your local area.
Very helpful. I want to retain the land as agricultural and use it within this criteria rather than an extension to my garden. Do you know if it is permissible to grow meadow flowers and have bee hives and keep hens? Regards, Bob
9 metres by 5 ,will a planning officer really need to be involved.
I have same situation but larger paddock. if you have an agricultural holding number you can apply for grants. I got one for native tree planting, but yours may be too small to qualify. Funding or not though, i would start with trees.
AWB - there have been several cases of planning officers marching in and telling owners to revert their precious garden to pasture even after 20 years of nurturing it so yes, always get permission for change of use.
Robert - if your'e planning a wildlife reserve there may be advice and even grants available for planting the right stuff to attract and feed bees and small mammals and amphibians but do be aware that grazing sheep, pigs, cows, horses etc will eat everything you plant - except creeping buttercup which horses leave untouched. Ask your local wildlife trust.
You may find these sites helpful
Thanks. More to think about. Very helpful.