The report provides step-by-step guidance on how to identify the best brownfield sites for wildlife and recommends that local authorities re-develop brownfield sites in a coordinated way to ensure that, as some brownfield sites are lost, others within a city are created.
The paper, commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and written by Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust, highlights that while brownfield sites get their name because they've been developed on in the past, these areas are quickly re-colonised by insects, flowers and birds once they become derelict. A surprisingly high number of rare species have been recorded on the UK's brownfield sites, including approximately half of rare solitary bees and wasps and a third of rare ground beetles.
An example of a thriving brownfield area that is a haven for wildlife is the former Glasgow Garden Festival site, areas of which remain overgrown in Govan.
Craig Macadam, director for Buglife in Scotland, said: "Brownfield sites act a bit like stepping stones, allowing wildlife to move from one part of an urban area to another. Using that analogy, it's possible for local authorities to move stepping stones about in such a way that wildlife can still move from one area to another."
Co-ordinating redevelopment of land will ensure that brownfield areas contribute green spaces in towns and cities, said the report.