Information campaigns in towns and municipalities

Information campaigns in towns and municipalities
Settlements contribute to the fragmentation of the landscape. © Zeitenspiegel/ Frank Schultze

Involved sectors

Nature protection, Local population/citizens, Municipalities

Affected habitats

Measure independent of habitat

Description

Settlements are among those areas which may contribute to the fragmentation of the landscape and whose development may contribute to habitat decline. However, it may be possible to mitigate these effects with measures adopted in the gardens and green spaces of towns and villages. The permeability of the areas and, above all, of the spatial restrictions can be increased, habitats can be created or made more environmentally compatible, and the use of pesticides and herbicides can be dispensed with, etc. By means of information campaigns and brochures sent out along with building permits, for example, the public can be encouraged to adopt these measures. Possible measures include: creation of near-natural hedges from local timber, permeability of fencing around properties, “insect hotels”, bee forage etc.

Impact

Impact in particular on Small mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Insects
Ecological impact  
Reduction of fragmentation or creation of new valuable habitats Simple methods such as small recesses in walls, wider meshes in fences, etc. can greatly increase the mobility of insects, small mammals, amphibians, etc. in residential areas.
Improvement or preservation of habitats Insect hotels, near-natural hedges, nesting boxes, dead branches and piles of leaves, stones and "wild corners" in gardens increase the diversity, quality and supply of habitats in settlements.
Element of ecological network Appropriately designed and managed parks and gardens can form significant stepping stone biotopes.
Other More nature in settlements has positive effects on the hydrological regime, climate and human health.
Time of realisation for measure Years: Depending on the measure, the impact may commence immediately (e.g. creation of an opening in a boundary wall) or only after several years (creation of hedges, tree-planting, restoration of water bodies).
Impact scope Local (municipality): In order to achieve a good impact, it is important to work at community level and involve as many local residents as possible!

Implementation

Implementation period Long term: Most of the measures listed can be implemented relatively quickly and with little expense or work.
Frequency Non-recurring, Recurring: Long-term awareness building is needed for optimal effect. Individual measures can be implemented with limited resources.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Medium (10'000-100'000 EUR): Most of the examples listed are not very cost-intensive. The work can be carried out as part of local projects, often with volunteers.
Socio-economic impacts Low: More attractive living environment, more "nature" in settlements.
Sources of financing Private sponsor, Other private sources, Public: local, Public: regional
Legal situation Implementation of the measures takes place on a voluntary basis.

Further information

Evaluation Experience has shown that citizens are often unaware or have little information about these issues and respond very positively to ideas and suggestions. If the municipalities contribute to the costs of a new near-natural hedge, for example, a great many volunteers can be recruited very quickly.
Information France: Departement Isère has published numerous brochures on this theme and runs regular information campaigns: http://www.isere-environnement.fr/pages/index/id/6416/
Contact France: Conseil général de l'Isère (http://www.cg38.fr/)

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