Fife Council has published its second biodiversity duty report. It demonstrates the range of initiatives that the local authority has undertaken over the last three years to protect and enhance biodiversity – and to meet its biodiversity duty.
A duty to look after nature
Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, all public bodies have a duty to further the conservation of biodiversity while carrying out their responsibilities.
The duty is aimed at connecting people and their environment. It is not just about protecting specific sites or species, and includes how we manage biodiversity in the wider environment. This might be through planning policy, while purchasing supplies, and by raising awareness about the importance of a high quality environment.
A range of projects and partnerships
The last three years have seen considerable action for biodiversity across a number of services within the council. Many projects have been achieved through partnership working. Some highlights include:
- Green networks and greenspace are now given much higher priority in the FIFEplan Local Development Plan
- A river restoration project is being developed along the Lyne Burn in Dunfermline in partnership with SEPA and Lothians & Fife Green Network Partnership
- Over 12 ha of wildflower meadow have been created at 23 parks across the Kingdom with the involvement of 27 schools and 10 community groups through a three-year, grant-funded partnership project with Buglife
- Development is underway on a new and ambitious waste management policy for the next decade
- Fife Golf Trust, which manages the Kingdom’s seven municipal golf courses, achieved internationally recognized ‘GEO Certified’ sustainable and environmental accreditation
- The Council joined farmers, estates and golf courses in the RSPB-led Corn Bunting Recovery Project and creating three wild bird cover crop areas in parks with school children to provide shelter and winter food for this threatened bird.
- The Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership, a grant-funded landscape conservation programme which aimed to re-connect people with the living legacy of the Lomond and Benarty Hills
- Undertaking an audit of woodlands in partnership with Lothians & Fife Green Network Partnership and Forestry Commission Scotland and securing funding to bring the top five priority woodlands into management for people and wildlife
- The West Sands Dune Restoration Project saw completion of urgent works to restore this ecosystem, including moving nearly 15,000 tonnes of sand to damaged areas and planting with over 1000 volunteers, through a partnership led by Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and St Andrews Links Trust.
- First local authority in Scotland to be awarded a five-star rating through the Eco Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme.
You can read more by downloading the full report below.
Biodiversity is life
Biodiversity is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. It affects our health, wellbeing and wealth, and provides us with food, fuel and many other vital services. It enriches our lives and is part of our history and culture.
Pressures such as habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change and invasive non-native species mean we are losing biodiversity. As a result, action is required to protect and restore biodiversity locally and nationally.
The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 introduced a requirement for all public bodies to report on their compliance with the biodiversity duty every three years.
To find out more about the biodiversity duty and read other reports, visit Biodiversity Scotland.
For more information on partnership conservation projects see the Fife Local Biodiversity Action Plan.