Statement of aims
The Chesterfield and District Crematorium will seek to protect and enhancing the quality of the local environment and support the concept of a sustainable Chesterfield. The crematorium will ensure that environmental priorities are fully integrated into all its functions and will:
(a) take all reasonable steps to prevent cruelty to wild animals
(b) seek to conserve protected wildlife species and habitats
(c) manage existing wildlife habitats, create new ones, and encourage others to do the same
(d) work with nature conservation organisations to monitor and maintain records of wildlife in the crematorium grounds
(e) encourage public access to and enjoyment of the crematorium grounds
(f) protect and enhance the open space, waters, trees and hedges under its control to meet the aims and objectives of A Greenprint for Chesterfield
Priorities for action
Trees and woodland
All broad-leaved trees and woodland are valuable for wildlife but some types are particularly important. Although the crematorium has no ancient or secondary semi-natural woodland, it does have a small area of planted wet woodland, which provides a useful habitat. This will be designated as an informal wildlife conservation area. Individual trees within the crematorium grounds are also a valuable resource, providing some of the benefits of woodland in an urban setting. It is important that these trees are recognised for their conservation value and protected from mismanagement and loss.
The crematorium will address the need for management of this resource, to maximise its wildlife and landscape potential, by the development of an arboricultural management programme. This will support the Wet Woodland Habitat Action Plan for Lowland Derbyshire, published in 2003. Special attention will be given to preserving dead wood, which is vital for many invertebrates, fungi, ferns and lichens.
Bats have been chosen as a Flagship Species in Chesterfield because they require specific actions over and above those for the habitats in which they are found. Their numbers have declined significantly in the UK over the last century. They require good roosting and overwintering sites such as hollow trees and old buildings, and insect-rich feeding sites such as flowery meadows, wetland and open water. Bat boxes have been installed in the crematorium grounds in an effort to increase the number of available roosting areas and enhance the numbers of the bats in the neighbourhood. In addition, the crematorium will minimise use of wildlife "unfriendly" herbicides and chemicals and increase the area of open water within the grounds to provide additional feeding sites.
Ivy is a climbing, scrambling plant abundant as a groundcover shrub in the understorey of much rural woodland. It has a variety of conservation benefits and causes no direct damage to trees. Where ivy has grown high into the crown, it may affect tree stability. The natural balance of the crown, stem and roots may be adversely affected by dense ivy growth and the tree may be liable to blow over in high winds, particularly when accompanied by rain or snow. Where such trees are near public footpaths or roads, we may remove ivy in the interests of public safety. Ivy may also be removed where it is detrimental to the visual aims of the planting.
Ivy does, however, provide a valuable habitat for insects and nesting birds and its berries provide food for birds, particularly during the winter months, when other food is scarce. It is also an important source of early and late nectar for insects.
Butterflies face constant threat from contemporary farming and forestry practices and from creeping urbanisation. Seven out of ten British butterfly species are in decline. The management of grassland habitats will be particularly important for the survival of the butterfly in Chesterfield. The crematorium has relaxed its mowing regimes on amenity grassland around the grounds by leaving uncut margins around the perimeter boundary of the site. This will enable the main larval food plants to flourish in sunny sheltered positions.
Our Bulb Remembrance Scheme will be amended to enable families to contribute to the purchase bulbs of local provenance.
Numbers of many once-common lowland birds have declined over the last 25 years to the extent that several species are protected. The song thrush, house sparrow, tree sparrow, linnet and grey partridge are all listed on the red list of birds of conservation concern in the UK. To improve the prospects for lowland birds, the crematorium will work to maintain and enhance its stock of hedgerows, increase the density of tree cover in the crematorium grounds, and has begun a programme of placing bird boxes in appropriate habitats.
Our work to protect and enhance the prospects for wildlife around the crematorium will proceed in co-operation with relevant organisations that share our aspirations. In particular, we will be working with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to develop a conservation management plan for the site.
In addition, we will seek to be represented on the Environmental Theme Group of CHART, the Local Strategic Partnership, which has the responsibility of taking forward the aims of Local Agenda 21 in the area.