Celebrating action to grow the borough’s biodiversity
Launched by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to mark the first anniversary of its ecological emergency declaration, the project will see signs springing up in green areas across the borough to highlight where and how communities and council teams are working together to protect, restore and enhance habitats.
The signs will celebrate these areas and the people who help manage it, while also linking to more information on what is happening and how to get involved.
These joint projects form part of the council’s ongoing work that manages, protects, enhances and restores nature across the borough through policy setting in the local plan, agreeing ecological enhancements as part of planning permissions, looking after areas with green space management plans and working with partners and volunteers.
As part of this, the council’s grounds maintenance and natural environment teams play a vital role in supporting the delivery of biodiversity enhancements and managing habitats across the borough including over 80,000 trees and 100 hectares of woodland. The council’s rangers also work alongside community groups and volunteers to improve and enhance the diversity of plants and animals on over 300 hectares of natural green space.
The council also has a number of its own conservation projects under way including its pilot biodiversity improvement zone in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood. This is now home to over 213 types of grasses and wildflowers, an increase of 34% from the first year, and 135 invertebrate species.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Action Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “Volunteers and conservation groups, together with our dedicated council teams, play a huge part in helping to protect our environment and increase the diversity of local flora and fauna.
“Our teams manage vast areas of green spaces across the borough to ensure they are protected and enhanced. There is a wonderful network of volunteers and community groups who are helping areas to thrive and these signs will help those passing by to recognise what is being done and celebrate the effort being made by communities to increase the variety of plants and wildlife and tackle the ecological emergency. It may even encourage more people to join in this work in the local community or even consider a smaller project in their own garden at home.”
For more information about how the council and communities are taking steps together to tackle the ecological emergency visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/ecology