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Guidance for parish and town councils to plan action for nature

photo of a field filled with yellow and white wildflowers

New guidance to help parish and town councils plan the action they can take to help protect nature in their areas has been published by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The step-by-step guide will help town and parish councils develop, consult on and deliver their own local Nature Action Plans so they can identify their existing nature assets as well as any opportunities for restoring nature in their towns and villages.

Councillor Oli Henman, cabinet project lead for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel, said: “Changes in land use and land management, the use of pesticides and other pollutants, the modification of our waterways, the presence of invasive non-native species and climate change is impacting on nature, which is declining at rates unprecedented in human history. Parish and town councils have a crucial role to play in engaging with their communities and driving local action on the climate and ecological emergencies.

“Community groups and residents will know their area best and understand local needs, including green spaces, biodiversity and conservation. We are committed to supporting community-led action and so, with this guidance, we aim to provide parish and town councils with the support they need to act for nature.”

Parish and Town Nature Action Plans: Guidance for Parish and Town Councils can be downloaded from the council website.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, the council declared an ecological emergency in 2020 to recognise the severity and importance of the decline in nature. The council has ambitions to lead a carbon neutral, nature positive district by 2030.

The concept of a Nature Action Plan (NAP) builds on work by South Gloucestershire Council to support parish and town councils in acting for nature. Examples of completed plans can be found on the South Gloucestershire Council website.

For more information about how Bath & North East Somerset Council is addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergencies and how people can get involved please go to the Climate and Ecological Emergencies pages on the council’s website



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