Sustainability and Biodiversity
Sustainability and Biodiversity
Biodiversity - the variety of life we see around us
The City Council will seek itself and encourage others to conserve and enhance biological diversity within Birmingham and to contribute wherever possible to the conservation of national and global biodiversity.
Sites of Quality
A basic need for nature conservation in Birmingham is the protection of the City's Critical Natural Capital. This is the best of the City's sites, habitats and species in terms of natural richness, irreplaceability and value to people. Allied to this is the need to maintain the level of sites and habitats in the City which make up Birmingham's stock of Constant Natural Assets and which contribute so much to local biodiversity and public enjoyment. These sites include:
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
- Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs)
- Sites of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINCs)
- Local Nature Reserves (LNRs)
The City Council will protect and preserve SSSIs, SINCS, as recognised by The Birmingham Plan, and LNRs by not normally allowing any development which may destroy or adversely affect their nature conservation value, and by seeking to prevent any other forms of damage.
The City Council will, wherever possible, protect SLINCs as part of Birmingham's stock of Constant Natural Assets. Efforts will be made to maintain the stock of Constant Natural Assets and to increase that level wherever possible.
The City Council will encourage private landowners to achieve the protection of all privately owned sites of quality
Open Space Network
The protection of sites of quality is critically important for nature conservation. It is not enough though to simply protect a series of scattered, individual sites. There is a parallel need to protect a network of open spaces linking together sites of quality and special habitats. It can also provide, for example, easy access to a network of footpaths of great value to people. It also offers the chance to visit key sites and experience nature in its own right.
The City Council will where possible protect, develop, and extend, the strategic network of open spaces identified on the Strategy Map. In particular, it will safeguard the network, and its habitats, against any development which may sever corridors or otherwise harm their integrity.
Links with open spaces beyond the City boundary will be maintained, improved and, where possible, extended, in co-operation with neighbouring authorities, statutory undertakers and others as appropriate.
The intrinsic value of any land or natural features having a corridor function, in terms of nature conservation and associated access and amenity, will be safeguarded wherever possible.
The places that species live in are called habitats. Generally speaking the older, less disturbed and larger a habitat is, the more valuable it will be for nature conservation. The City's rare habitats are: lowland heathland, wetland (including bog, fen and marsh) unimproved acid grassland, wet grassland and ancient woodland.
The City Council will protect the City's rare habitats as key elements of Birmingham's Critical Natural Capital by not normally allowing development which may destroy or adversely affect their nature conservation value, and by seeking to prevent other forms of damage.
The City Council will, wherever possible, protect other natural, semi-natural and wildlife-rich artificial habitats in the City, as part of Birmingham's stock of Constant Natural Assets against development which may destroy or adversely affect their nature conservation value, and by seeking to prevent other forms of damage. Efforts will be made to maintain the stock of Constant Natural Assets habitats and wherever possible to increase them.
Birmingham provides permanent and temporary homes for thousands of kinds of plants, fungi, animals, birds, fish, insects and other invertebrates (such as spiders, woodlice and snails). Individuals of each species may live and breed permanently in the City, pass through on migration, live here for a period of time each year, or be casual or accidental visitors. Species have to be selected for conservation action both because some species are more threatened than others, and because the resources available are limited. To assist in making this choice the City's species have been divided into two:
- a legal obligation to do so;
- a threat to human health;
- a threat to the status of rare and protected species;
- a need to participate in wider wildlife conservation measures being implemented by other agencies;
- no other reasonable option.
Any such control will be carried out humanely, by qualified personnel, and in accordance with approved guidelines and codes of practice.