Last edited 28 Feb 2019

Green corridor

Green corridor.jpg

[edit] Introduction

A 'green corridor' (also known as wildlife corridor, biological corridor or habitat corridor) is a strip of land that is established to enable the bridging of habitat populations that have been split by human development such as a road, settlement or other human activity. If this is not undertaken, wildlife populations may become unstable and some species (animal and plant) could become vulnerable. Green corridors may also be created in the wake of natural disasters, such as wild fires and disease, to help re-establish the newly reduced wildlife populations.

Once in place, they can allow animals to migrate to new areas if food is in short supply in their usual habitats.

Genetic diversity may also be increased as animals may find new mates on the other side of the corridor (the target patch). This can help prevent inbreeding and lowered genetic diversity and is particularly important for small animals and birds.

A further bonus may be that animal movement to a target patch may promote indirect effects on plant populations, such as greater pollination and seeding.

[edit] Types of green corridor

It is generally accepted that the wider the corridor, the more effective it will be in attracting species to use it. Current thinking favours asymmetrical and random green corridor design as near as possible to a natural environment.

There are two types of corridor:

  • Land corridors - which can be strips of land as narrow as a line of shrubs.
  • Water corridors (‘riparian ribbons’) - which may be rivers or streams.

Depending on its size, a green corridor in an urban area could provide an attractive breathing space for local residents and so be more acceptable to them. The opposite may be true if the corridor allows foxes or vermin to enter the human realm.

Green corridors may be created to offset the environmental impacts of new developments or infrastructure. For example, High Speed 2 Ltd (HS2) is planning a green corridor comprising “new wildlife habitats, native woodlands and community spaces to help integrate the new line into its surrounding landscape and environment”. It is claimed this corridor is the largest ever undertaken by a UK infrastructure project and will allow species to cross from one side of the line to the other.

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