What is biodiversity and why is it so important for humanity? Listen to a podcast Professor Kathy Willis, Director Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School.
Biodiversity in Oxfordshire: The Biodiversity Advisory Group
Wild Oxfordshire hosts and coordinates Oxfordshire’s Biodiversity Advisory Group. The Biodiversity Advisory Group is currently chaired by Graham Scholey, the Environment Agency’s Conservation Technical Specialist for West Thames Region and is made up of representatives from BBOWT, RSPB, local planning authorities, NE, FC, TVERC and local AONBs. This group meets on a quarterly basis to set biodiversity strategy for the county and feed into initiatives such as Conservation Target Areas and the State of Nature in Oxfordshire Report 2017, as well as county strategies including Oxfordshire’s Strategic Environmental Economic Investment Plan (SEEIP) and the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy (OxIS). we work closely with several other Oxfordshire-based groups including Sylva Foundation, who produced In a Nutshell – a Woodland Strategy for Oxfordshire in 2016.
Oxfordshire’s Natural Assets
Oxfordshire has a wealth of natural heritage assets including 7 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). These SACs are distributed across the county and form part of a wider ecological network of 36 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs), along with many of the 111 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and 472 Local Wildlife Sites. Parts of 9 Natural Character Areas (NCAs) fall within Oxfordshire’s county boundary, reflecting its great range of landscape types. For a comprehensive over-view of the county’s wildlife visit the State of Nature pages and download the free reports.
Throughout the UK, each County has a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) that identifies priority habitats and species. Wild Oxfordshire is working with partners to develop a new Oxfordshire Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, with updated targets for habitat restoration and creation. The strategy is being developed with consideration of “Making Space for Nature” Lawton Report 2010, the new Biodiversity 2020 strategy, Water Framework Directives, Catchment Delivery Plans and new Forestry commitments. Changes will be posted on these pages as they are agreed.
Section 41 (41) of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act, which came into force on 1st October 2006, requires the Secretary of State to publish a list of habitats and species which are of principle importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England. This list is used to guide decision-makers such as public bodies, including local and regional authorities, in implementing their duty under section 40 of the NERC Act, to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in England when carrying out their normal functions.
Click on the following links for ways to get involved with Oxfordshire’s wildlife.