Welcome to Essex Biodiversity Project

This website has something for everyone who has an interest in the wildlife of Essex; from the professional nature conservationist to the amateur enthusiast; from the managing director of a local business to the chief executive of a District Council.

You can use this site to find out about biodiversity in Essex, learn about the species and habitats in the Essex Biodiversity Action Plan, discover how you can get involved in projects and who to contact about wildlife issues.

The publication by the Wildlife Trusts in June 2013 of The State of Nature report reveals the declining fortunes of wildlife in England with many species in steep decline and heading towards extinction. Government has recognised that it's target to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 was missed, and has responded with a new strategy, Biodiversity 2020  which aims “to halt overall biodiversity loss, support healthy well-functioning ecosystems and Establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better places for nature for the benefit of wildlife and people.” It sets out high-level “outcomes” through action in four areas:

 

  • a more integrated large-scale approach to conservation on land and at sea
  • putting people at the heart of biodiversity policy
  • reducing environmental pressures
  • improving our knowledge

 It recognises that establishing coherent and resilient ecological networks on land and at sea requires a shift in emphasis, away from piecemeal conservation actions and towards a more effective, more integrated, landscape-scale approach. Government says that the ‘biodiversity partnership’ an informal network made up of a huge number of individuals and organisations, already make an absolutely vital contribution to the conservation and enhancement of our biodiversity. Nature conservation charities are engaged in activities such as managing land, engaging the public and leveraging in resources. Many have led the way in developing the landscape-scale approach which is central to this strategy. Farmers and other land managers also play a crucial role in sensitively managing the environment – over 70% of land in England is farmed. A host of others also contribute in myriad ways, right down to individuals managing their gardens in a wildlife-friendly way.

 

In Essex a network of organisations and individuals already exists to do this work, with Essex Biodiversity Project at its heart, and with over 15 years of practical experience. Our Biodiversity Action Plan is well-established to guide biodiversity conservation work, and has already adapted to the Landscape Scale approach, for example working with the Environment Agency to achieve the aims of the Water Framework Directive, and on Oxlip woodlands, and coastal grazing marshes. The Outcomes of the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy will be achieved by the continuing work of Essex Biodiversity Project, and our 'Biodiversity Action Plan' section of this website sets out the habitats with which we will be working and the actions being taken to improve them.

 

For Local Authorities

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 came into force on the 1st October 2006. Section 40 of the Act gives  all public bodies a legal duty to consider biodiversity in their work. this affects more than 900 public bodies, including local authorities, parish counciuls, police, BBC, museums and transport bodies. You can use this site to find out how your organisation could play a key role in enhancing and conserving biodiversity. The website's > 'Planning' section and its 'Biodiversity guide for planners and developers' contain a wealth of information, including links to other relevant websites. The > 'Planning' > 'Eco Consultants' section may also be useful.  Advice from DEFRA on the Biodiversity Duty is available on their website

Landscape Scale working

Biodiversity conservation work is now focusing on whole landscapes as the way to conserve biodiversity, and the Essex Biodiversity Project is now working with the County and District Councils, Essex Wildlife Trust and other partners on projects to benefit habitats and species across Essex. The Living Landscapes project seeks to  improve the wider countryside for widlife, rather than just concenrtating on small nature reserves, and this will bring benefits for Biodiversity Action Plan species and habitats. Essex Biodiversity Project is leading the Oxlip Woods Living Landscape Area.

Further information on these projects and the other work of the Essex Biodiversity Project can be followed up by clicking on the green buttons and their flyout links on the left side of this page. Please explore this website and contact us for further information.