Neighbourhood Plans provide a great opportunity to enhance both biodiversity and development in your area. Where do you start?
Discover what you have. We can provide you with the mapped locations and survey citations of wildlife sites and priority habitats, as well as comprehensive information on the wildlife species that have been recorded in your planned area through our data request service. In addition you may consider commissioning a before/after drone survey to show the impact of your plan. To enhance species recording locally, and monitor the effect on biodiversity from implementing your plan, our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported WILDside project library of equipment and online community is freely accessible as support to voluntary biological recording in the county. You may find it additionally beneficial to commission a community BioBlitz event from our experienced team. Our reports and project work are chargeable at commercial rate, please contact us with your requirements for a quote.
A good plan shows a sustainable approach to the environment and a net gain for biodiversity overall. Our reports support you with the information you need to start planning for the enhancement of your local area – do you know where your high ecological value sites are? What key species are present that need your protection? Where are the opportunities for creating new habitats and biodiversity enhancement?
In forming a good plan you should know the statutory sites in your region, afforded legal protection, as well as Local Wildlife Sites, which are assessed against selection criteria by a panel of local independent wildlife experts as having high ecological value. Other ‘green spaces’ could also be important in your plan in terms of species richness, alongside beauty, tranquillity, recreation and historic values. We can provide a full list of the local species records we hold, along with details of when they were recorded and their designated conservation status.
With this information you can meet the environmental criteria of your neighbourhood plan, showing how you intend to protect, enhance and create new spaces for local wildlife habitat. This could be placing restrictions on development and disturbance, establishing buffer areas, the creation of wildlife corridors using native plants, and the development of new habitats and homes for wildlife such as woodland, wetland, wildflower meadows, ponds, bird and bat boxes, tree planting, green roofing and bridges. All of these small-scale developments can contribute to a netgain in your local wildlife.
Useful links to get you started
CIEEM Biodiversity Net Gain: https://cieem.net/i-am/current-projects/biodiversity-net-gain/
Community guide to planning for Biodiversity by BBOWT, Oxfordshire County Council and TVERC: http://live-twt-d8-bbowt.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/2018-08/Community_Doc_FINAL_MEDRES.pdf
Magic Maps online mapping tool: https://magic.defra.gov.uk/
Northamptonshire County Council Planning Guide (each district has their own advice to support you in this process also): https://www3.northamptonshire.gov.uk/councilservices/environment-and-planning/planning/planning-policy/archaeology-biodiversity-and-landscape/documents/PDF%20Documents/user%20guide_planners.pdf