'CityWildlife is the place for wildlife in Brighton & Hove...'
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The Biodiversity Duty
Local Authorities have a Biodiversity Duty: 'You should be able to show your duty to have regard for conserving biodiversity if you have identified ways to integrate biodiversity in the planning system'
○ The underlying foundation of integrating biodiversity (and geodiversity) must be a map of wildlife and geological sites. This should show locations, boundaries and name the 'features of interest'
○ Brighton & Hove City Council have not even been able to provide this core information FOR OVER TWO DECADES!
○ Even now a search for 'Wildlife' or 'Nature' on the council webpage takes you to this: "Brighton & Hove has several local nature reserves in and around the city. Our nature reserves provide wild spaces where plants and animals can thrive"
○ It is impossible to find a map of Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) or Local Geological Sites (LGS) across Brighton & Hove.
Think Global Act Local
Not all of us have the time and money to see nature in the Amazon. But we do have time to see the wildlife which is literally on our doorstep. Within the Brighton & Hove boundary there are rare orchids. There are endangered bats and a variety of plants and animals. However they are rapidly disappearing!
Natural habitats are being built over and there is increasing fragmentation leaving only tiny pockets of land for these plants and animals to cling on to.
Find out where the local wildlife sites are. It may be a small copse near you where birds can still nest.
And then help to safeguard these precious jewels of local nature.
In this way we can start to build up the jigsaw of wildlife sites and fill in the missing pieces. We can also keep a list of areas and species and measure their health.
○ life improving for all across Brighton & Hove, or is it declining?
○ Where are the major changes and what is the rate of change?
Those Public Bodies with a formal Biodiversity Duty need to be held to account.
Many years ago Brighton & Hove City Council had an ecologist. Then they obtained information from the County Ecologist who knows little about our local sites. The clearest current example of this is watching the decline in Stanmer Park's wildlife features. There were no comments or recommendations about the Parkland Habitat, or associated veteran trees and lichens.
The Council appointed a replacement in-house ecologist in 2021. We look forward to a more proactive knowledge-based approach to the Council's Biodiversity Duty from 2022 onwards.
The Environment Act, 2021
The Environment Act became Law in England in November 2021. The Press Release link states World-leading Environment Act becomes law (read more...)
The Office for Environmental Protection ('The OEP') has been established to protect and improve the environment by holding government and public authorities to account...
Local Wildlife Sites
In 2013 there was a public consultation over Local Wildlife Sites and 116 LWSs were agreed from a list of about 250 suggested sites. The County Ecologist reviewed this list of agreed sites, without wider consultation, and deleted half of them at a click of a mouse!
Now, only 52 LWSs remain according to the BHCC City Plan. The decline in our Council's interest in biodiversity since 2010 can be seen on the 'ORIGINAL City Wildlife Page' link below.
updated: May 2023