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Decision details

Biodiversity Strategy

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The decision is to approve the draft Biodiversity Strategy for stakeholder and public consultation. This strategy will update the current Nature Conservation Strategy (2006-2026) in response to the declared Biodiversity Emergency.



Matter for Decision

In 2019 the City Council declared a biodiversity 1 emergency in recognition of the pressures facing our natural world, both locally and internationally. The Council pledged to review its 2006 Nature Conservation Strategy to meet current legislation, policy, initiatives, and challenges.


The Officer’s report was accompanied by a draft Biodiversity Strategy for Council services for the period, 2021 to 2030. The Strategy sets out a series of objectives to guide work and groups actions under three themes:

·  ‘Biodiversity Mainstreaming’.

·  ‘The Core’.

·  ‘Nature in your Neighborhood’.


Officers requested Committee approval to consult on the draft strategy between July and September 2021, with a view to adopting a further revision of the Strategy after scrutiny in the autumn committee cycle.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing

Approved the draft Biodiversity Strategy for public consultation.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Environmental Services.


The Biodiversity Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The biodiversity checklist was available for all services and departments to take them through project steps.

  ii.  Officers were working with Pesticide Action Network to reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides.

  iii.  Work was undertaken with schools and Cambridge University to educate and engage younger people. Directly eg building ponds or indirectly by trying to support other groups to engage schools.

  iv.  The 2006 Nature Conservation Strategy had 80 projects. It had achieved its objectives. It was recognised the strategy did not have measurable management plans, the intention was to address this in the new strategy and to review management plans with communities.

  v.  Officers now had a baseline to review the status/condition of land in future and percentage gain/loss in biodiversity. Some common land areas had been damaged through historic action so would take time to achieve a ‘good’ status. The intention was to increase biodiversity by ten percent.

  vi.  The new strategy action plan would have SMART objectives and proposed to demonstrate change against a baseline.

 vii.  The list of strategy stakeholders was not exhaustive, more could be added such as resident associations nominated by councillors.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.


Publication date: 11/10/2021

Date of decision: 01/07/2021