Biodiversity

Oak woodland

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is committed to the protection and enhancement of biodiversity within Blaenau Gwent.  This is achieved through the implementation of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Blaenau Gwent in partnership with a wide range of organisations and individuals.  The plan provides a framework for reversing the decline of Blaenau Gwent's wildlife resources and includes 26 Habitat Action Plans, 7 Species Action Plans and 4 General Action Plans.  
 
The Council with support from the Countryside Council for Wales employ an Ecologist and assistant ecologist who help to coordinate the implementation of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, offer advice on biodiversity issues and run the Blaenau Gwent Biodiversity Partnership.  This is a committed and enthusiastic group working together to conserve and enhance local biodiversity within the County Borough.   Safeguarding Blaenau Gwent's biodiversity is not just the responsibility of local authorities or environmental groups, it needs commitment from all of us!  This site provides information on how YOU can help and get involved!  It also offers links to other sites that hold useful biodiversity information.

What our Ecology and Biodiversity Service Does
 
As a landowner, regulatory body and leadership organisation in the wider community, the Council as a range of responsibilities aimed at protecting and enhancing biodiversity. The Council has an Ecologist and Biodiversity Officer who works towards a set goal of increasing the level of biodiversity across the Borough.

The following information provides details on the scope of the service undertaken within the Council. Details of all work undertaken is set out in quarterly biodiversity reports copies of which can be found here.

Scope of Ecological and Biodiversity Service

1. Provide advice ensuring compliance with wildlife legislation across Council functions and services.

2. Contribute to the working and objectives of the Blaenau Gwent Biodiversity Partnership including the formulation and implementation of Blaenau Gwent’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

3. Advise on Biodiversity Action Planning across Council Services,especially Council owned land in accordance with the Authorities biodiversity duty under the NERC Act (2006)

4. Contribute to the Wildlife Sites Partnership, including the selection, amendment and management of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).

5. Provide advice on Development Control issues relating to:

  • Planning Applications (including pre-application advice);
  • EIAs and Environmental Statements (i.e. Scoping Opinions and
  • Environmental Statement Content: Ecological Surveys, Ecological
  • Impacts, Mitigation Packages and Monitoring Programmes);
  • S106 Agreements/Planning Obligations
  • Enforcement
  • Planning Appeals

6. Respond to strategic consultations from Central Government Departments andbodies, e.g. Natural Resources Wales/Welsh Government.

7. Provide specialist input into strategic planning such as the Local Development Plan, Green Infrastructure and Transport Planning. This includes policy formulation andtesting via scoping and evaluation of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs), Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs) andSustainability Appraisals (SAs).

8. Provide a general ecological information & advice service for the Council, consultants, developers, businesses and the general public.

10. Represent the County Borough Council at various other partnership groupings andmeetings (Blaenau Gwent Biodiversity Partnership, South Wales LBAP Officers, Local Wildlife Sites Partnership, Mid Valleys SINC Steering Group, Gwent Biodiversity Action Group).

11. Feed into internal and external consultations - provide appropriate input into other miscellaneous environmental strategies, plans and projects.

12. Maintain and develop appropriate Ecological Information Systems both internally and externally (e.g. Service Level Agreement with the Local Biological Records Centre [SEWBREC], Schools Grounds Biodiversity Project, Citations and GIS layers of Designated Sites including Natura 2000, Ramsar, SSSIs, LNRs,SINCS).

13. Apply for funding and implement biodiversity related projects across the Borough linked to the Local Biodiversity Action Plan.