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Cynth Napper Community Officer Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum .

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Slide 2 Cynth Napper Community Officer Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum www.oncf.org.uk Slide 3 NERC Act 2006 Parish Council Duties Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity Slide 4 What is the Acts purpose? 1.Clarify and consolidate existing biodiversity commitments - e.g. PPS9 Biodiversity and geological conservation EIAs, & SEAs 2.Make biodiversity a natural consideration in your policy and decision making processes 3.Highlight the role of biodiversity in underpinning sustainable local communities 4.Raise the awareness and profile of biodiversity within your community Slide 5 What is Biodiversity? Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is a term for the variety of life and the natural processes of which living things are a part. This includes all living organisms and the genetic differences between them and the communities in which they occur. Slide 6 Why should we have regard for biodiversity? Because we are all, even in the developed world, 100% dependent on other species for our survival: Plants/Animals Domesticated/Wild: food, clothing, shelter, fuel, oxygen, climate control, medicine Genetic resource Economic value growing, trading Ecosystem services bees, floodplains, soil Aesthetic and Moral Slide 7 Threats to Oxfordshires Biodiversity Infrastructural Development (including housing) Land Management Climate Change Introduced species Pollution Slide 8 Implications of the NERC Act Through your normal duties it is hoped that parish councillors will promote: Recording and maintenance of the existing biodiversity resource within your parish Enhancement of local biodiversity Restoration of what has been lost Recreation of links between habitats within the parish where/when possible Slide 9 When to consider biodiversity - 1 When commenting on planning applications - will this harm or benefit wildlife? When preparing your Parish Plan - what opportunities are there? When employing contractors - do they work in wildlife-friendly ways You are allowed to create bylaws - A new Local Nature Reserve? Slide 10 When to consider biodiversity - 2 When you are managing land Are we considering wildlife as well as people? When commenting on district policy and plans (Local Area Agreements, community strategies, transport, housing, procurement, waste) We know our parish best and care about it the most are we giving our opinions clearly, and to the right people? Slide 11 Support for councillors Local environment group species baseline Environmental sub-committee Individual recorders in the parish/TVERC Parish plan Parish conservation plan BBOWT guidance on S40 of the NERC Act at www.bbowt.org.uk Advice and contacts through ONCF Slide 12 Rebuilding Biodiversity in Oxfordshire Slide 13 Target Areas 36 target areas for conservation action Landowners are being supported to access agri-environment funds Communities are being supported Slide 14 Slide 15 Slide 16 Support for councillors In Conservation Target Areas: Book a visit by an ecologist (50/50) through ONCF Slide 17 Ways to help your native wildlife Require your contractors to sign up to consider your wildlife and obey the law Be less tidy! Save money Relax mowing regimes in communal spaces Create wood habitat piles Encourage people to record and monitor species in the parish birds, botany, butterflies; mammals; trees, - to help fight unwanted development Use TVERCs free database for information on your local species Slide 18 .. Create a wildflower meadow Create a new pond where appropriate Put up bird, bat and bee boxes in communal spaces Plant native hedgerows, trees and shrubs Remove invasive species Slide 19 Slide 20 Photo of Himalayan balsam Slide 21 More ideas Celebrate your local wildlife Most importantly your example will help to make your community understand that the conservation of biodiversity, both for our future and for our childrens uncertain future is everyones responsibility Slide 22 Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum www.oncf.org.uk [email protected]

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