Discovering the AONB
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OUR FUTURE WITH WILDLIFE – Denbighshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
In response to the UK government’s commitment to the Rio Biodiversity Convention all authorities are required to produce a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).
Biodiversity is the whole variety and richness of life on earth - all the species of plants and animals, their genetic variation and the complex ecosystems of which they are a part.
1.9 million species of plants, animals and microbes are currently known about but new species are constantly being discovered across the world – scientists believe there may be five to 30 million species in existence.
Biodiversity is everywhere, from the smallest insect to the tallest tree. Its survival will greatly depend on our ability to understand, appreciate, and make space for it.
The UK government’s commitment to the Rio Biodiversity Convention means that all local authorities are required to produce a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).
The purpose of such a plan is to protect local wildlife and highlight those habitats and species which are under threat or declining. It proposes priority action that will halt this decline and bring about recovery.
Biodiversity is a global issue – but it requires local action through partnerships with the local community and a range of organisations.
The small things that we can do as individuals in our local areas contribute to conserving biodiversity globally. It is really important that we all do our bit to protect our planet for future generations – including its fantastic biodiversity.
In the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB this means caring for habitats such as limestone grassland, heathland, woodland and river valleys. Limestone grassland is an exceptionally diverse habitat supporting many wild flowers such as cowslip and rockrose, some rare and uncommon such as autumn gentian and orchids. These in their turn support a variety of invertebrates including many butterflies and moths such as the common blue butterfly and the red- spotted burnet moth.
Heathlands are special places for upland birds such as stonechat, tree pipit, hen harrier and merlin which visit the moors during the spring and summer months to breed. The cry of the curlew was once a familiar sound in the summer before it returned to the estuaries to over-winter.
Otters and water voles depend on our waterways. Fortunately the otter is beginning to recover but water voles are seriously declining. Action is needed now to prevent it disappearing altogether.
The Biodiversity Action Plan currently lists just over 30 priority habitats, many of which are in the AONB. Some of these are nationally important such as calcareous grassland, heathland, oakwood, upland mixed ashwood, ancient and species-rich hedgerows, lowland meadow, grazing marsh, and coastal habitats. Others are locally valued such as ponds, roadside verges which provide a refuge for wild flowers once common in the adjoining fields, and green spaces in our towns.
Nearly 250 priority species are listed, some of which are also threatened or rapidly declining nationally, for example, pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, lesser horseshoe bat, black grouse and water vole. Other mammals listed are the brown hare, dormouse, otter, water vole, bat species, while lapwing, curlew and yellowhammer are included in the birds. Some amphibians and reptiles are highlighted along with a range of invertebrates and a large number of wild plants including mosses, fungi and lichens.
Individual action plans are being produced for many of these species and habitats. These will be closely monitored to assess how successful or otherwise our conservation action has been.
Please visit the “Caring for the AONB” section of this website for information about specific habitat management and wildlife conservation projects.
And check out these links to find out more about how to identify and conserve local biodiversity:
Farmland conservation/land management
http://www.biodiv.org – Convention on Biological Diversity
http://biodiv.wri.org – World Resources Institute — source of biodiversity facts and figures
http://www.wcmc.org.uk – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (inc. IUCN Red Lists of threatened animals and plants)
http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk - biodiversity indicators