Wildlife on Streatham Common is set to get extra protection after Lambeth Council declared the area to a local nature reserve.

The special designation, which was agreed by the council’s cabinet on Monday, recognises how important the common is as a habitat for local wildlife, as well as its role as a green lung for residents.

Designating the common a local nature reserve gives it extra legal protection from possible future development that could harm wildlife, such as encroachment from extensions from houses around its borders.

The common is known to be home to a wide range of wildlife, including bats, birds such as woodpeckers, and small mammals, and the move follows discussions with local user group Friends of Streatham Common.

The Friends have recently raised funds to create a new signposted nature trail around the Common that should be installed in the next few weeks.

Councillor Sally Prentice, cabinet member for culture on Lambeth Council, said: "We have some fantastic green spaces in Lambeth that provide a vital breathing space for local people as well as crucial habitat for wildlife.

"By declaring Streatham Common a local nature reserve we are giving it extra legal protection so its value as a habitat for wildlife is preserved for present and future generations.

"The Friends of Streatham Common play an absolutely vital role in helping the council manage the common, and have worked with the council closely on these plans, and I’d like to thank them for all the work that they do."

The council will now seek approval from Natural England for the proposal.