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Cambridge City Council

Council sets out new strategy to guide response to the biodiversity emergency

1 July 2022

CAMBRIDGE City Council has adopted a new Biodiversity Strategy that will shape the city’s response to the biodiversity and climate change emergencies.

The strategy, which sets out the council’s biodiversity approach from 2022 to 2030, was approved at Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee yesterday (30 June).

It has been informed by the biodiversity audit carried out in 2020 and the consultation that was undertaken between July and September 2021.

It identifies a number of key objectives:

  1. To secure measurable net gain in biodiversity across the city
  2. To ensure designated sites and priority habitats are in good condition to increase resilience to the changing climate
  3. To promote awareness of biodiversity and wellbeing, supporting coordinated action in our communities, businesses, and institutions
  4. To ensure biodiversity is considered by all council service functions and projects
  5. To harness the wealth of local professional and amateur knowledge and experience in identifying and solving issues
  6. To establish long term, species and habitats surveys and monitoring to measure the impacts of activity and identify new threats and opportunities.

A series of actions are grouped under three themes:

  • Biodiversity Mainstreaming: embedding biodiversity across all council services
  • The Core: enhancing the key wildlife sites and habitats the council manages
  • Nature in your Neighbourhood: working in partnership with other organisations and individuals to increase biodiversity across the city

Actions include:

  • Working with partners to ensure the water flow and quality of chalk streams are restored through sustainable water management
  • Working towards a pesticide free Cambridge by developing an operational management and maintenance plan to implement the use of non-chemical weed control
  • Continuing to implement the recommendations of the 2018 Veteran and Ancient Tree Survey, which includes planting new willow pollards at suitable sites
  • Working with partners to protect, enhance and promote the Cambridge Nature Network
  • Implementing new wetland planned for Logan’s Meadow and Stourbridge Common Local Nature Reserves
  • Securing a minimum 20% biodiversity net gain on all council developments
  • Supporting the Happy Bee Street scheme, enabling residents to adopt their streets and help manage them for biodiversity

Cllr Alex Collis, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development, said: “Boosting biodiversity is one of the top priorities for the council and has been since May 2018, when we declared a biodiversity emergency.

“Since then we have been working to embed biodiversity across all of the council’s different areas of work.

“We also committed to putting together a robust plan to tackle the challenges we are being presented with – and now we have done just that.

“The council has a long history of working with local groups and partners to maintain and improve the rich diversity of habitats which can be found in and around the city.

“This new strategy is a comprehensive and well supported plan setting out how we can continue to work together and extend our relationships so that everyone, from big businesses to individuals, can make a positive change and nurture biodiversity.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to come together and we will continue to work as hard as ever to deliver on biodiversity improvements.”

Watch a short video of Cllr Collis explaining the Biodiversity Strategy

The full Biodiversity Strategy Report can be found on the council’s website, including the items below: