Find out more about how Warwickshire County Council is safeguarding and enhancing the County's rich biodiversity.
To mark the start of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada (7 – 19 December 2022), Warwickshire County Council is highlighting its commitment to protecting the flora and fauna of the County.
Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide, and this decline is projected to get worse if nothing changes. The UN Biodiversity Conference will bring together governments from around the world to agree to a new set of goals for nature over the next decade through the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process.
This framework sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to change society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, a shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.
Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life in an area and refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. Biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth..
Without a wide range of animals, plants and microorganisms, we don’t have the healthy ecosystems that we rely on to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. Being close to nature is also better for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Warwickshire County Council has already been investing in biodiversity in Warwickshire for many years and are committed to maintaining and improving the biodiversity across the whole County so that the benefits can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Here are some of the things that the Council is doing:
Biodiversity Offsetting Model for Developers
Warwickshire’s Biodiversity Offsetting model is a last resort process where conservation activities compensate for biodiversity loss resulting from new housing development in a way that can be measured. Such conservation activities can be:
- Tree planting
- Wildflower meadow creation; and/or
- Wetland creation and enhancements.
This model has drawn national praise and has been adopted by the Government in last year’s Natural Environment Act as a mandatory ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’.
Find out more about this scheme here:
A tree for every resident
Warwickshire County Council has committed to further increasing the county’s biodiversity by planting a tree for every resident. That means close to 600,000 new trees will be planted over the next decade. Putting the ‘right tree in the right place’ will seek to increase the number of hedgerow trees, create new woodlands and introduce more trees into urban locations, as well as restoring the ancient Forest of Arden, which once covered most of the county and beyond into Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
More information on this tree-planting initiative can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/2528/a-tree-for-every-resident-in-warwickshire
The Warwickshire Tree Nursery
To support this impressive tree-planting target, the Council has recently established the Warwickshire Tree Nursery, which will enable it to grow locally sourced native trees to support future tree planting in Warwickshire.
More information about the Warwickshire nursery and the first 20,000 acorns planted, can be found here: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/news/article/82/20-000-acorns-in-the-ground-as-warwickshire-s-tree-nursery-takes-root
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture, said: “Our multi-facetted approach to biodiversity will ensure not only that important habitat for wildlife are not lost, but that new habitats are created that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
“To mark Biodiversity COP15, we want to empower and inspire our residents to do things that positively impact Warwickshire’s biodiversity and there are lots of simple things that people can do to make a big difference. From planting trees, allowing parts of gardens to grow wild and putting up birdboxes there are a range of things that our residents can do as together we create a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for all our futures.”
What’s next: Nature-based Solutions
Warwickshire Councils have carried out pioneering research into establishing other compensation models, similar to Biodiversity Offsetting. This will enable landowners to deliver ecological creation solutions to offset other environmental impacts such as air and water quality and carbon footprints. Another solution includes doctors prescribing walks in nature-rich parks to increase our health and wellbeing.
What residents can do
There are a huge range of things that residents can do to increase biodiversity in their local area. Here are just a few suggestions from ecologists at Warwickshire County Council:
- Join a local tree-plating group – there are groups working across each District and Borough from the Friends of Blue Bell Walk in Rugby to the Foundry Wood project in Leamington Spa.
- Plant – If you have a garden, plant your own native trees or flowers to attract pollinating insects which are essential for biodiversity. You can find some handy tree planting tips here: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/news/article/83/growing-a-greener-warwickshire-tree-planting-season-2022-23
- Help birds: Put up a bird feeder on your balcony or in your garden, or set up a nest box or bird bath if you have more space.
- Make a home: Put a bat box or hedgehog house in the garden. Or if you have less room, it’s easy to install a bug hotel for insects to use over winter instead
Find out more about the Biodiversity COP15 here: https://www.unep.org/events/conference/un-biodiversity-conference-cop-15
The Council is currently engaging with residents around the draft Sustainable Futures Strategy. Anyone can find out more and have their stay here: https://ask.warwickshire.gov.uk/insights-service/sustainable-futures-strategy/
Planning a more sustainable Christmas in 2022? We have some useful tips here: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/news/article/84/have-yourself-a-sustainable-little-christmas-in-2022
For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/
Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf