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13. Biodiversity

Much of our wildlife has its origins in the natural woodland cover of the British Isles, and the trees and woods in towns provide an opportunity for the public to enjoy nature on the doorstep.

The greatest diversity of wildlife is found where woodland, wetland, grassland and other habitats are interwoven.

Woodland provides shelter, screening, seclusion and reduced disturbance. Many species depend on a combination of open glades and woodland cover.Woodland in towns can provide a strategic link between natural green spaces.

Urban woodland is, by definition, very close to where most people live and work. It offers particularly convenient opportunities for environmental education and popular pastimes such as bird-watching and it also generates a great deal of wildlife that people enjoy in their private gardens.  It is not always necessary to have direct physical access in order to enjoy woodland wildlife. People can be satisfied simply by knowing that wildlife exists around them.

Individual trees in cities and towns, whether on streets, in parks, gardens, schools or hospitals, are unique in their ability to support a great variety of wildlife in some of the harshest locations in our urban areas. Many of these species are relatively common - robins and blackbirds are easily recognised by children from nursery rhymes - while others, such as bats and bees are rarer as they are in decline.

Native species of trees are particularly important having been around for thousands of years and many hundreds of different species have developed over time to be dependent on them. Willows alone offer food and habitat for over 450 species, many of these are insects that then themselves provide food for birds.

The council may carry out works to improve bio-diversity, for example by removing invasive non-native species. Tree planting will favour native species in appropriate locations.