18th June 2020

Biodiversity Survey given the ‘green’ light

Following Full Council’s recent adoption of the Biodiversity policy, at last night’s Environment and Planning Committee, councillors agreed to move forward with the acceptance of a scope of work for a Biodiversity Survey.

Whilst it was recognised that some in-depth, species-specific work is and has been in progress over the years by groups and individuals in the community, this survey, which will take place this summer, will give a good general overview of the state of biodiversity in Bradford on Avon and act as a benchmark against which to monitor future progress in the parish. It will cover areas known to be dense in native plants and wildlife, as well as those which are currently devoid of them, assisting with decision making going forward.

Cllr Alex Kay, Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Environment and Planning Committee said:

“We all recognise that areas of the town are already really rich in biodiversity – and how wonderful it is to regularly see kingfishers, wild orchids and bats in their habitats.
The purpose of the survey is to understand how we can connect those richer areas, and develop more, so that wildlife can prosper more widely.  We’ve got to take into account that if you want to see hedgehogs, then they need to eat snails; if you want butterflies, they need to lay their eggs somewhere; if you want bees, they need places to hibernate as well as feed.
In some cases, this will mean ‘retraining’ ourselves to recognise that natural beauty comes in many forms – and that less-manicured areas also bring value to our wonderful town.”

Also at last night’s meeting, a Biodiversity/Climate Emergency focused Communications budget was agreed to assist Town Council officers in the process of rolling out biodiversity measures in a way which embraces community input, as well as educating and incentivising residents of all ages to get involved.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton, who proposed the original Biodiversity motion at Full Council, said:

Councillor Dom Newton“We’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 crisis, that it’s vital to give clear messaging and communicate effectively – and this applies no less to the other major crisis, the Climate and Ecological Emergency, that we face as a town, country and indeed worldwide, and one which is increasingly likely to have real-world effects on us all in the next decade if action is not taken now.
Community consultation and engagement on exactly what biodiversity means for specific areas of the town, so that residents can continue to use them, while perhaps also appreciating them in new ways and getting new experiences from them, is really important if we are to succeed.

We are engaging with external groups like the Blue Campaign and the Centre for Sustainable Energy to help us on that journey; one which will hopefully leave the town richer, both in terms of biodiversity, access to nature and potentially economically through eco-tourism.”

If you’d like to read the Biodiversity Policy visit our previous news item here: https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/town-council-leads-way-on-biodiversity/

If you have conducted any research on biodiversity in the area previously, and would like to share it with the Town Council’s Green Spaces Officer, to help inform our processes, get in touch via our CONTACT FORM

Photos Lydia Booth Photography (exc. Cllr Dom Newton taken by Cllr Dave Garwood / Hedgehog – Stock Photo)