Wrexham Industrial Estate Community Living Landscapes Project

The Wrexham Industrial Estate (WEI) is one of the largest in Europe but also contains an important network of wildlife habitats, including County Wildlife Sites, that support a diverse range of wildlife. Important species found within the WEI include Water Vole, Otter, Bats, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper butterflies, Great Crested Newt, Barn Owl, Kingfisher and Lapwing, which have been noted nesting on the roof tops of industrial units. The NWWT manage two nature reserves within the WEI that have resulted from development mitigation, and further sites resulting from the WEI Access Road may be acquired in the future. There is great potential for a Living Landscape Project to be developed for this industrial area and its surrounding communities, many of which are relatively economically disadvantaged.

The Wrexham Industrial Estate offers a great opportunity to properly integrate business, industry and people with wildlife in a working landscape and has the potential to become an exemplar site for the successful integration of the three pillars of sustainable development: Social, Economic and Environment and could help place Wales at the forefront of such sustainable development within Europe.

The Wildlife Trust has recently acquired management responsibility for two new nature reserves within the WIE created as mitigation for developments: Bryn Lane (opposite the Household Recycling Centre), which supports many species including great crested newts and grizzled skipper butterflies; and the nearby Abbey Road reserve, which contains wildflower grassland and scrub habitat.

New nature reserves will also be created as part of mitigation measures resulting from the WIE access road. These and future mitigation land within the WIE offers the basis for a fabulous network of wildlife-rich habitats that benefit wildlife and bring delight to people within the heart of a productive industrial area, demonstrating that, with good planning, economic, social and environmental requirements can all be addressed to mutual benefit.