Council shows further commitment to nature recovery

Council agrees new Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan reaffirming commitment to enhance nature and address biodiversity loss.

Westmorland and Furness Council has taken another significant step towards a more sustainable future with the agreement of Part One of its new Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan.

At a meeting of Cabinet this week (Tuesday 30 April), members unanimously agreed a Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan which reaffirms the council’s commitment to enhance nature and address biodiversity loss in Westmorland and Furness.

The Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan Part One outlines how the council is making nature recovery a priority, setting the scene and beginning conversations across the organisation and throughout our communities about how we will work together to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystems.

It not only supports the commitments made in the council’s Council Plan and Climate Change Action Plans Part One and Two, but ensures the council meets the biodiversity duty for public authorities as introduced in the Environment Act 2021 which requires the council to consider what it can do to ‘conserve and enhance’ biodiversity.

The new plan also complements the council’s ongoing work to develop a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Cumbria, for which the council are the Responsible Authority, and will further support the council’s biodiversity duty.

This first part will now be followed by a Part Two Action Plan which will highlight actions the council can take, outline in more detail how the council will work collaboratively with partners and key stakeholders to address the ecological emergency, and encourage joined up thinking. It will be developed using the key priorities and measures that come out of the Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy.

Councillor Giles Archibald, Westmorland and Furness Council Cabinet Member for Climate and Biodiversity, said:

“This week’s agreement on Part One of our Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan is another milestone for our council and for Westmorland and Furness. As a council, we are making nature recovery a priority and recognise the need to restore, enhance and protect nature whilst also addressing biodiversity loss.

“While we are fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful area, we are facing climate and biodiversity crises which will have potentially catastrophic impacts locally, nationally and internationally. This plan underpins our core council value to be ‘ecologically aware’ and steps out how we aim to redress damage and protect our environment for the long-term through actions such as encouraging better land management, habitat creation, tree planting and net biodiversity gain in new housing developments.

“We recognise that in order to achieve this it will require collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders. My thanks to all those who have taken the time to engage with our nature conversation events so far and I look forward to working with our partners and other organisations on Part Two of the Action Plan.

“The plans will enhance the work we are already doing and while much hard work lies ahead, I am heartened that if we all work together, we can create a greener, healthier, more resilient Westmorland and Furness and continue to make it to be a great place to live, work and thrive.”

Read the Nature and Biodiversity Action Plan Part One.

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