'Conservation Agenda' home page



photo: Brighton robin singing
Brighton robin singing

, Nature Conservation Agenda

This ‘agenda’ has been provided to help focus thoughts on the ten most important points that need to be addressed to progress positive natural environment conservation actions across the city.
Please send comments to BHWF (Chairman: Martin Robinson. btnhovewildlife@gmail.com)

photo: stag beetle
Stag beetle

1.    Promote the Booth Museum as Brighton and Hove’s primary location for exploring local biodiversity and geodiversity.
As one of the few Natural History museums in the country, the Booth can potentially provide a unique resource for local naturalists, planning projects and those developing biodiversity related policies.

2.  Ensure the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) is followed.
This should be the key strategic plan to help us all understand our local natural environment and direct conservation priorities.
Biodiversity Action is progressing across the UK and Sussex.
We need to implement positive Biodiversity Action in Brighton and Hove too, including objectives in the published LBAP.
Reference: The LBAP came out for comment from 2 July – 3 September 2012. Read BHWF comments here…   Despite the date on the front page it was adopted in 2013.

3.  More could be done to promote private gardens as wildlife habitats.
Linking green space in the city, thereby connecting habitats through public land and private gardens, and encouraging people  to discover more about their local wildlife will benefit both nature and people.
Passing sightings on to the Booth Museum and 'City Wildlife' will highlight the richness in our local ecology.

4.   Actively involve local people in managing Green Spaces.
All within the local community should be engaged in the management of the city’s green spaces, but at present this is simply not happening.
Regular, committed users of the natural environment, eg dog-walkers, are being ignored yet all should be involved in making policy.

5.  Deliver a more evidence-based countryside management service.
The current Council structure was recently overhauled. This provides an opportunity to build on links between the new Strategic Directors, their team and local groups, to agree a more scientifically-based approach to nature conservation.

6.  Clearly define objectives and priorities in Council environment services.
These objectives and priorities should be clearly written and easily available to local people. Priorities should be transparent, and not driven by underlying commercial considerations; an example of concern would be the recent success in obtaining funding from Natural England, but was this supported by adequate ongoing site management, monitoring and reporting systems?

7.  Involve Friends Groups in decisions on local sites.

Council should provide training support for Groups to enable them to be more actively engaged in monitoring/surveying habitat changes and species numbers.
Future site management options can then be openly discussed, with the Friends Groups, other local stakeholders and public agencies.

8.  Manage local sites with clear objectives agreed with Friends Groups and other local specialists.
Friends Groups must always remain accountable to their communities. This requires a clear and rational approach to planned activities, with specialist expertise when needed.
There is a tendency towards ‘beautification’ and dramatic changes which may have little biodiversity value.
Management plans should be drafted by the Council, brought forward, discussed and agreed at Friends Group meetings.
Our local Council should actively encourage Friends Groups.
Practical procedures are needed to facilitate the effective use of this voluntary workforce in line with the 'big society’ concept.

9.  The Council needs to start managing its own estate for environment objectives too.
There should be 'joined-up thinking' between Property Services, in terms of land tenancy agreements, and conservation needs.
Departments must link to shared objectives.
Funds generated from sales, such as felled timber, should be properly accounted for, with some returned to fund nature conservation work locally.

10.Continue to update and improve the mapping facility on ‘City Wildlife’.
The City Wildlife website could display particular habitats, both as reference points and also to provide a basis for informed management.
Mapping can also help direct residents in finding out more about the area, and contribute to our shared wildlife knowledge. NOTE: CityWildlife.or.uk now gives an 'Error' message. It will be valuable to recover the dataset BHWF input to the site between 2005 and 2013.

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Thank you for your interest and support for Brighton and Hove’s wildlife. We welcome new members who share this ‘agenda’.
Membership is free, please contact our Chairman above for more information.

22 January 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         version: 2018-1

photo: orchids over Moulsecoomb
Orchids over Moulsecoomb
photo: orchids over the Marina
Orchids over Marina