The Wildlife Trusts have published a report on the status of Local Wildilfe Sites (LoWS) in England in 2017/18. Local Wildlife Sites are part of the country's ecological network and form important links between statutory sites such as SSSI's. They are not legally protected in their own right, although national planning policy requires Local Authorites to give them some level of protection from development.
The government is consulting on mandating biodiversity net gain in development to ensure habitats are protected and enhanced for the future.
It is a statutory requirement for local authorities to consider the ecological impact of developments, but often potential developers may be unaware of potential ecological implications of a development until after a planning application has been submitted. This can lead to costly delays for developers or householders, greater impacts on wildlife populations, and a reduction in biodiversity.
The Forestry Commission and Natural England have revised the Standing Advice on Ancient Woodland, Ancient Trees and Veteran Trees.
Orchards East are looking for voluntary orchard surveyors to help with parish and district surveys of historc orchard sites across Essex! For more information contact the Orchards East project manager Howard Jones on 07854 701363, or email Howard.Jones@uea.ac.uk.