Councillors have welcomed a new biodiversity strategy to protect Peterborough’s parks, open spaces, nature reserves and wildlife.
Cabinet member Cllr Peter Hiller presented a new Biodiversity Strategy to members of Peterborough City Council’s cabinet on Monday (November 19).
The strategy, which replaces the existing eight-year old plan, will ensure that parks, open space, nature reserves and the wildlife of the city of Peterborough are protected for the future.
Cllr Hiller said: “We are blessed in Peterborough with having some of the most wonderful biodiversity in the country, but with that comes the heavy responsibility of protecting it for the future.
“In 2010, this city launched a biodiversity strategy which has served it well, but now we have growth and expansion all around us and we need a new plan to ensure that none of what we all cherish is lost to development over time.”
Cllr Sam Smith said: “I welcome this strategy as I have a particular concern over the disappearing numbers of hedgehogs in our region, and I want us to do everything that we can to protect them and all of our native wildlife.”
The new Biodiversity Strategy would retain the existing vision and approach from 2010, but update it with the promotion of biodiversity when planning applications are put forward to the council and show regard for biodiversity on public authority managed land and protected sites.
A four week public consultation which took place in March 2018, showed that biodiversity and the protection of wildlife is very high on the public agenda.
Following cabinet approval in January 2018, consultation with The Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Nene Park Trust, Froglife and Buglife resulted in the basis of the new Biodiversity Strategy put before the cabinet.
Cllr David Seaton said: “I too am very in favour of this strategy. Over the past few years we have put in place programmes to protect our native wildlife such as the barn own, various bat species and the great crested mewt.
“I believe we now have one of, if not the largest and healthiest, great crested newt populations in the country. Something we should all be proud of.”
Adoption of the new Biodiversity Strategy will cost approximately £20,000 per year, but the council earns £16l per annum from its biodiversity actions, and over the past five years the delivery of the strategy has secured approximately £185,000 of additional grants and funds.
The strategy will now be sent to Full Council for approval.
Robert Alexander, Local Democracy Reporting Service