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Parish Council Biodiversity Policy

SOUTH PETHERWIN PARISH COUNCIL  BIODIVERSITY POLICY

PREAMBLE

In accordance with the duty imposed on town and parish councils by Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, updated by Section 102 of the Environment Act 2021, South Petherwin Parish Council will in exercising all its functions have regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity. 

This duty also means that town and parish councils can spend funds in conserving biodiversity. 

DEFINITION

According to Defra (Biodiversity 2020), biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth. It includes all species of animals and plants – everything that is alive on our planet.

Biodiversity is important for its own sake and has its own intrinsic value. A number of studies have shown this value also goes further. It is the building block of our ‘ecosystems’. These provide us with a wide range of goods and services that support our economic and social wellbeing. These include essentials such as food, fresh water and clean air, but also less obvious services such as protection from natural disasters, regulation of our climate, and purification of our water or pollination of our crops. Biodiversity also provides important cultural services, enriching our lives.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The object of this policy is to work towards enhancing and protecting the biodiversity of the Parish of South Petherwin. 

All committees of South Petherwin Parish Council will consider sustainability, environmental impact and biodiversity when making decisions and will develop and implement policies and strategies as required.  

In particular, South Petherwin Parish Council will aim to improve the biodiversity of the area in the following ways: 

  • consider the potential impact on biodiversity represented by planning applications.
  • manage its land and property using environmentally friendly practices that will promote biodiversity.
  • support local businesses & council operations in the adoption of low impact practices.
  • support residents and local organisation activities to enhance and promote biodiversity.

ACTIONS

Planning applications

  • The council, when commenting on planning applications, will support site and building design that benefits biodiversity through the conservation and integration of existing habitats or provision of new habitats. 
  • It will support protection of sensitive habitatsfrom development and will consider whether the development would mean the loss of important habitats for wildlife in respect of all applications.  
  • It will consider what each proposed development might make in terms of biodiversity net gain.

Land and property management

  • The council will carry out a biodiversity audit of its landholdings.
  • Special care will be taken in the specification of grounds maintenance contracts to ensure that the work, whilst reaching acceptable standards, does not harm the natural environment. 

Local community

  • The council will raise public awareness of biodiversity issues, including through its website and newsletters. 
  • The council will engage with local businesses and residents regarding biodiversity in the community and how members of the community can assist and make a difference. 

Partners

  • South Petherwin Parish Council will work in partnership with other organisations to protect, promote and enhance biodiversity within areas of the parish. 
  • It will review any local nature recovery strategies, species conservation strategies, or protected site strategies in respect of local sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and consider how it may become more involved in implementing the strategies’ recommendations.

This policy will be reviewed each year at the Annual Meeting, together with a summary of how the policy has been implemented in the previous twelve months.

DRAFT MODEL ACTION PLAN

SITE / OBJECTIVE ACTION OUTCOME TARGET  (Years) REPORTING / PUBLICITY
Whole council area   Protect and support  biodiversity    Raise local awareness of biodiversity.  

Encourage suitable planting to support biodiversity.     
Gain local support for action.

Connect & diversify habitats to meet the needs of a variety of  wildlife species   
Ongoing

Ongoing 
Newsletter    

Mapping 
Common / other open spaces  Encourage residents to remove litter and pick up after their dogs. Provide bin for dog waste.    Protecting habitats    Ongoing 
SITE / OBJECTIVEACTIONOUTCOME&TARGET (Years)REPORTING / PUBLICITY
The Built LandscapeEnsure that planning consultations are considered against bio diversity

Encourage hedgehog / small animal highways with  permeable boundaries
Protecting/enhancing habitats

Extending habitats.
Ongoing
Increase community awareness of biodiversityAsk residents for their views on what they would like to be done to conserve biodiversity within the parish.

Raise awareness of the importance of gardens as habitats for wildlife, with possible actions highlighted in the parish magazine.

Create a page on the parish council website for photographs / information / links

Encourage local farmers to contribute.

Discourage floodlighting.
Engagement / ownership of biodiversity

Promote biodiversity.

Promote biodiversity.

Promote biodiversity.

Protect nocturnal animals.
OngoingNewsletter

Newsletter
Support Community Projects   Work in partnership with the school to develop young people’s awareness of the environment around them.

Consider events and offer volunteering opportunities to support biodiversity, working with local organisations.
Promote biodiversity.

Promote biodiversity.
 Establish links with the local school

Policy adopted 10th January by South Petherwin Parish Council; Minute Reference: Item 11 refers.