Bradford, United Kingdom
City population: 521035
Duration: unknown – 2014
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 23552 m2
Type of area: Previous derelict area, Other
Last updated: October 2021

Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve has a variety of habitats. The site is largely artificial, originating from former gravel pits. The river gravels were of good quality and represented an important local source for the construction industry. The pits ceased to be worked in 1970’s and flooded. Infill materials - a variety of materials have been used: building rubble, soil and treated sewage residues from the treatment plants. Plant materials and soil from parks, gardens and building sites have added to the bio-diversity. The reserve is owned by Bradford Council and managed by Wharfedale Naturalists Society volunteers. (reference 1) With the support of Natural England, the site was declared a Local Nature Reserve in October 2013. (ref 7).


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Riverbank greens
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Preservation of natural heritage


Protection of natural ecosystems, Knowledge creation and awareness raising, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

Objectives for the Reserve are as follows (ref2): a) To promote the conservation, creation and management of all-natural history aspects of the Reserve and thereby contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of appropriate biodiversity within the Reserve boundaries and adjacent areas. b) To progress the restoration of the habitat zones of the Reserve on the basis of SEGI (Sites of Ecological or Geological Interest) designation. c) To encourage an appreciation of the natural history value of the site. d) To develop an appreciation of the wildlife value of the site e) To communicate with local interested groups and individuals using the site for legitimate purposes and develop an appreciation of the wildlife value of the site and the need to utilise it with respect. f) A site to develop a variety of wildflower (ref 8) g) Community gardening and environmental education site for the local community (ref 7)

Implementation activities

It was designated a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of the improvement in biodiversity. (reference 5) Small workgroups to manage the site and protect bio-diversity (ref 7)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Create new habitats
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Public engagement

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)
  • Public engagement

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Non-government organisation/Civil Society
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Reserve is managed by the Wharfedale Naturalists Society (WNS) in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (CBMDC) (ref 7). For maintenance of the park small workgroups of local community volunteer (ref 8)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased protection of threatened species
  • Improved prevention or control of invasive alien species

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records