Council prove dedication to nature

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Angus Council has published its first formal Biodiversity Report, outlining the work it’s carried out to support wildlife and the local environment during the last three years.

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 places a duty on all public bodies to ‘further the conservation of biodiversity’ (also known as ‘Biodiversity Duty’) in the course of carrying out their responsibilities. The report highlights the council’s commitment over the last three years in delivering on this duty.

A council spokesperson said: “In Angus we are lucky to have one of the most biologically rich areas in the country – from the golden eagle in the uplands, the red squirrels in our woodlands, to the farmland barn owls and seabirds and small blue butterflies on the coast. Today’s report highlights the council’s responsibilities to conserve this biodiversity.

“The council works with partner agencies including community planning partners and nature conservation bodies to conserve this special natural heritage. Such partnerships are vital and working together we are developing the best ways to do this - and at the same time, contributing to other policies and initiatives.

“However it is not all about actions and targets – by involving the local communities and council officers in many of these projects, this has helped to raise awareness of a range of biodiversity issues across the county and enabled many people to call a project their own. This in itself creates a ripple effect of more work being achieved and many more of our important Angus species and habitats being safeguarded.”

A key project featured in the report is managed by Friends of Angus Herpetofauna, a group of local volunteers and enthusiasts who have worked with the Angus Council roads team on the first British Amphibian Ladder trials in the UK, now installed in three locations across the county including Station Road, Carnoustie. Migrating frogs and toads frequently fall and into gulley pots and recent trials of the ladders show that they can help 73 percent of trapped amphibians escape.

Angus Council plans to publish another biodiversity report in the next three years and will continue to aim to encourage more community and school groups to undertake small-scale environmental projects and to play an active part in undertaking citizen science surveys.

They also aim to help embed the biodiversity process into local businesses to demonstrate the economic and intrinsic value of ecosystem services and biodiversity and assist with the mainstreaming of the biodiversity process across the Council departments. “Collating the range of work that is undertaken within Angus Council’s varied services shows the vast range of activity teams facilitate as part of their regular work programme. Tremendous progress has been made in the past few years to mainstream the biodiversity process,” the report concludes.