Action Plan Information for...

Local Authorities and Public Bodies

Local authorities and public bodies have an important role in achieving a healthy and functioning natural environment through their wide remit, including developing policy and strategy, land ownership and land-use planning.

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act outlines a duty to conserve, restore and enhance biodiversity, which applies to every public authority and reflects the key part they should play in conserving biodiversity. Sussex Biodiversity Partnership has provided information below for local authorities and public bodies looking for ways in which they can integrate biodiversity in to their activities

Preston Park

Photo: Laurie Jackson

  • Biodiversity is an integral part of sustainable development, alongside social and economic issues, and should be embedded into policies, strategies and activities.
  • Planning decisions need to take biodiversity issues in to account – in particular ensuring that decisions are based on sufficient information, mitigation is of an appropriate scale and quality, and staff are encouraged to seek ecological expertise as routine.
  • Supporting the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre to ensure the maintenance of current biodiversity information will ensure data is available for forward planning and monitoring.
  • Protect and enhance biodiversity on the local authority estate and promote positive management of greenspace such as parks and road verges.
  • Support access to biodiversity within the local community, and raise awareness of the benefits to health, well-being and education.

Further Information

A report on the provision of accessible natural greenspace in the South East can be accessed via the Forestry Commission website.

The Association of Local Government Ecologists has produced a report outlining the biodiversity data required by Local Authorities in order to fulfil their functions.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has produced a report outlining the economic benefit of good quality parks and greenspaces.

Natural England has launched a campaign to expand the role of the natural environment in supporting health and wellbeing.

The Association of Local Government Ecologists has produced guidance on how biodiversity can be incorporated into Local Development Frameworks.

After Minerals provides information on mineral sites and the potential to restore them to important wildlife habitat.

Guidance to assist in reporting on National Indicator 197 – Improved Local Biodiversity can be found on the South East England Biodiversity Forum and Defra websites.

Help with implementing the NERC Biodiversity Duty is provided by the South East England Biodiversity Forum , Natural England and The Wildlife Trusts

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has produced a guide for anyone interested in encouraging biodiversity in parks and greenspaces.

The Town and Country Planning Association provide guidance on how to maximise opportunities for biodiversity in the planning and design of sustainable communities.

Planning Policy Statements relating to biodiversity (PPS: Planning and Climate Change, PPS 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation, PPS 12 Local Spatial Planning) can be downloaded from Communities and Local Government