SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY 2007 – adopted 13/11/07 (Minute C07/08.69.2 refers)
1. Keeping our own house in order
In accordance with the Duty imposed on parish councils by Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC) 2006, Sedlescombe Parish Council will in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity.
The Parish Council will, as far as is possible, conserve the biodiversity of the land it manages. It will adopt beneficial practices with regarding to cutting and removal of vegetation, application of chemicals and timing of maintenance work. Special care will be taken in the specification of grounds maintenance contracts to ensure that the work, whilst reaching acceptable standards, does not harm the natural environment.
The Parish Council will be take care in its use of energy, water, and chemicals. It will not support anything that unnecessarily increases air, noise or light pollution. It will minimize the amount of waste it produces and the amount of green waste it sends to landfill. It will minimize the amount of paper waste by using e-mail communication with its members and others. It will encourage people who receive its e-mails not to print them.
The Parish Council will always consider installation of recycled plastic street furniture and, where there is no alternative to timber, using timber from sustainably-managed forests.
The Parish Council will take action to conserve the Rivers Brede and Line in its parish and their banks and keep them, as far as possible, free of the invasive weeds - Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
The Parish Council will alert landowners to possible problems with invasive weeds on their land.
The Parish Council will support protection of the floodplains in its parish and resist any development in them.
The Parish Council will, wherever possible, raise public awareness of biodiversity issues. This role will be enhanced by displaying appropriate educative material, especially in Red Barn Field Nature Park. It will, where possible, involve the community in biodiversity projects on its land.
The Parish Council will inform local businesses of appropriate ways of conserving biodiversity and the earth’s resources.
The Parish Council will encourage other bodies to conserve their land in an environmentally-sensitive way. This will include school and church grounds, farms, rights of way, highways.
The Parish Council will keep the public informed about special environmental designations in the parish such as Sites of Nature Conservation Interest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Parish Council will communicate information and raise awareness of biodiversity through its website and newsletters and, if appropriate, through television and radio.
The Parish Council, when commenting on planning applications, will support site and building design that benefits biodiversity through the conservation and integration of existing habitats or provision of new habitats. It will support protection of sensitive habits from development and will consider whether the development of brownfield sites would mean the loss of important habitats for wildlife. It will support protection of gardens which are now considered “brownfield sites” in order to preserve biodiversity.
4. Highways Verges
The Parish Council will encourage appropriate management of road verge habitats especially protection of verges where special flora has been identified.
5. Biodiversity studies
The Parish Council will encourage identification of different types of habitat in the parish and their conservation.
The Parish Council will encourage introduction of a Parish Biodiversity Mapping Project as being undertaken by other local authorities eg Chichester District Council.
6. Linking with other agendas
The Parish Council will consider opportunities for linking biodiversity with other agendas such as promotion of health and outdoor recreation, education, community engagement and social inclusion. It will take opportunities to work in partnership with other organisations.
The Parish Council will, where appropriate, commit to the Habitat Action Plans for Sussex and the Action Plans contained in Species Statements for Sussex that have been produced. The following Plans appropriate to this parish have been identified:
· Floodplain Grasslands Habitat Action Plan for Sussex
· Unimproved Neutral and Dry Acid Grassland Habitat Action Plan for Sussex
· Arable Lane including Field Margins Habitat Action Plan for Sussex
· Sussex Woodlands Habitat Action Plan for Sussex
· Hedgerows Habitat Action Plan for Sussex
· Skylark Species Statement for Sussex
· Barn Owl Species Statement for Sussex
· Glow worm Species Statement for Sussex
The Parish Council is aware that the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre holds many surveys and reports dedicated to wildlife species and habitats in this parish mostly provided by Dr Patrick Roper.