Natural Environment Panel discuss Corporate Plan for Natural Resources & Biodiversity

The Natural Environment Scrutiny Panel met in March to discuss progress with the work and main project activity managed by the Nature Conservation Team. The Panel considered a Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure Action Log provided to the Panel to assist understanding of the various activities related to actions under the Corporate Plan priority for Natural Resources and Biodiversity and recommendations arising out of the Natural Environment Scrutiny Inquiry.

The Panel was interested in the progress being made with the development of a Council Tree Policy and felt this would also be of public interest.

The Panel raised some concerns over what notice is given by other organisations when felling trees and queried how to better raise awareness in general when trees are being felled, or planted. Officers explained that consultation with local communities is undertaken wherever possible. Panel members raised the point that councillors also have a role in explaining and sharing information with residents.

The Panel also discussed issues including; Climate Change Programme Board, Corporate Section 6 Biodiversity Duty Action Plan, Green Infrastructure, Wildflower Meadow Planting and Management Initiatives.

Climate change Programme Board

The Panel noted that the Action Log provided to the Panel was under the umbrella of a Climate Change Programme Board. The Panel learned that this strategic officer led working Group meets on a bi-monthly basis to facilitate, co-ordinate, deliver and monitor the steps in the Corporate Plan Objective for Maintaining and Enhancing Swansea’s Natural Resources and Biodiversity as well as the Council’s Climate Action.

The Panel is interested to learn more about this at its next meeting scheduled in May.

Corporate Section 6 Biodiversity Duty Action Plan

Panel members were keen to see greater promotion of the work the council is doing in delivering this duty and encouraged cabinet members to look at ways to improve communications to raise awareness around this work.

The Panel was pleased to see progress being made on one of the issues highlighted by the Natural Environment Scrutiny Inquiry: recruitment for a new Section 6 Duty Biodiversity Officer and new Planning Ecologist is underway.

Green Infrastructure

Officers explained that much research and consultation went into the preparation of the Swansea Central Area Green Infrastructure Strategy which was approved by Cabinet in February 2021. This Strategy aims to embed biodiverse green infrastructure into new developments.

The Panel also discussed issues around; Promoting & Supporting Community Biodiversity Projects, Welsh Government Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being Scheme Grant Funding and School Biodiversity Awareness

Click here to view to view more details about what was discussed at this meeting.

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