Express & Star

Lichfield council looking to recovery and future of nature

Lichfield District Council has revealed a new plan around helping to recover and protect nature.

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The new Nature Recovery Declaration aims to protect and recover natural settings across Lichfield

The authority has worked closely with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to develop a Nature Recovery Declaration which has been unanimously backed by the council's cabinet.

It acknowledges the principles of the 2010 Lawton report which states that more space must be given to wildlife, existing wildlife spaces must be expanded and improved, and the connectivity between these spaces must be increased.

To support the recovery of nature across the district, the council will apply and implement the new Local Nature Recovery Strategy, which will sit within the national Nature Recovery Network and underpin all planning, development and land management decisions including the Local Plan.

Short and long-term targets will be set to reverse the decline and increase wildlife species as part of the 2050 Lichfield District Strategy, with areas of focus including planning and development, land management, road networks and highways and the transformation of urban spaces.

Nature recovery will be embedded into all strategic plans, training will be given to councillors and employees about the ecological emergency and any future council policies conflicting with nature’s recovery will be highlighted.

A cabinet member will be appointed to lead on tackling the nature crisis and a council employee appointed to coordinate our accompanying operations.

Councillor Angela Lax, Lichfield District council’s cabinet member for housing, ecology and climate change, said: “It is essential that we take a lead in addressing the nature crisis and our Nature Recovery Declaration is an important step.

“We will continue to consider the impact of everything we do on habitats and wildlife but through a defined structure.

“The importance of our wildlife cannot be overstated and we must do all we can to ensure it survives and flourishes.”

Liz Peck, advocacy and campaigns manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “There has never been a more important time to take action to tackle the ecological emergency.

“Much-loved wildlife like hedgehogs and water voles are vulnerable to extinction and we’ve lost 97 per cent of our wildflower meadows since the 1930s.

“We have worked closely with Lichfield District Council to develop the Nature Recovery Declaration and we’re delighted that this has been voted on unanimously.

“The Declaration demonstrates that the council recognises the nature crisis and is committing to a series of vital actions to support nature’s recovery across all its areas of work.

“It is a really positive step forward and will make a real difference on the ground for nature across Lichfield.”