The countryside and heritage policy has a positive and wide-ranging set of objectives, but it was written in 2014 and needs a review, due to the dramatic decline in species, trees and also the impact of us leaving the European Union. Here’s the motion…..
This council commends the DCC Environmental Policy document that was produced in 2014/15 – and the reported progress against it, as set out in the Environment Performance Statement.
However, the national trend is a significant and potentially catastrophic decline in insects and other wildlife, with some species heading towards extinction, as set out in the latest State of Nature report, published last month (September).
The sharp decline in our species suggests that our collective efforts are still not enough to prevent a worsening position.
This council agrees that the ‘Countryside and Heritage’ section of the Environmental Policy document should be reviewed before the end of 2016, to see whether there are further opportunities for DCC to do more to benefit nature, including:
– management of the county farms estate, where current uncertainties linked to Brexit mean that we need to find other ways of achieving environmental gains through the actions of our tenants
– through the management of our buildings and grounds (e.g. County Hall – a Grade 2 listed building set within a conservation area)
– management of our multi-use trails (i.e. cycleways), which have potential for enhancement as wildlife corridors
– through our community leadership role (e.g. in re-defining our environmental agenda in the light of Brexit, or in responding to current environmental problems such as ash dieback)
The motion will be debated at full council on Thursday 8 December