A rich variety of wildlife is both a joy and a sign of a healthy natural environment. Biodiversity needs to be at the heart of everything we do - it is integral to tackling and adapting to climate change, as well as safeguarding our vital life-giving ecosystem services, from water and soil protection, to food and energy security.
Biodiversity is life, from the commonplace to the rare, and everything in between. The Biodiversity Action Plan is set up to conserve the most rare, threatened or significant habitats and species.
In September 2010 Defra published 'Making Space for Nature: A review of England's Wildlife Sites and Ecological Networks', now more commonly known as the Lawton Review. The report concluded unequivocally that the collection of sites [in England designated for nature conservation] do not represent a coherent and resilient ecological network, and urged National Parks (and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to become exemplars of ecological networks.
Based on principles derived from the Lawton Review, the Biodiversity Action Plan aims to:
- enhance our landscapes with mosaics good quality, diverse habitats which are suitable to support a range of species;
- concentrate our efforts not just on high quality sites such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and nature reserves, but also on the land surrounding them;
- buffer important sites, creating larger areas of semi-natural habitats and linking habitats together, which should also to enhance the visual characteristics of the landscape;
- enable species to move and adapt in the face of climate change, and increase biodiversity;
- restore habitats such as peat bogs, moorlands and woodland, which help to absorb carbon, purify our water supplies, and reduce run-off, thereby helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Peak District Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) 2011-2020, is a blueprint produced by the Biodiversity Partnership* to:
- describe the species and habitats of the area
- highlight the species and habitats of greatest importance or which are under the most severe threat
- identify priorities for conservation action
- set targets for enhancing biodiversity
- promote and outline actions which need to be taken to benefit wildlife, landscapes and people
- raise awareness and understanding of the value of biodiversity to society.
The Peak District BAP is based largely on the three National Character Areas (NCA) of the Dark Peak, White Peak and South West Peak. Each of these areas is defined by its landscape and a distinctive and characteristic mosaic of habitats and species that sets them apart from other areas of England. The Peak District BAP area includes the entirety of the Peak District National Park; the whole area around Brassington and Wirksworth; Buxton and Cauldon Low/ Weaver Hills; the Ipstones Ridge, Macclesfield Forest and Whaley Bridge; and Stalybridge, Hayfield and Matlock Moor. The BAP area also incorporates some small parts of adjacent NCAs not covered by other Local BAPs.
View the latest Biodiversity Action Plans.
* The Peak District Biodiversity Partnership was made up of statutory conservation agencies, non-government organisations, local government, utility companies, landowner/ manager representatives, naturalist groups, business, Derbyshire constabulary and individuals. The Biodiversity Partnership no longer exists, but the local Woodland BAP group still meets quarterly.