Under the Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006, we have a duty to consider biodiversity when carrying out all our functions and this is particularly relevant to the Council’s responsibilities in respect of the Local Development Plan and Development management.
Biodiversity is a core component of sustainable development, underpinning economic development and prosperity, and has an important role to play in developing locally distinctive and sustainable communities. The conservation and enhancement of biodiversity is vital in our response to climate change and in the delivery of key ecosystem services such as food, flood management, pollination and provision of clean air and water.
Nationally the Wales Biodiversity Partnership (WBP) brings together key players from the public, private and voluntary sectors to promote and monitor biodiversity action in Wales. WBP provides a leadership role and an expert steer on priorities for action on biodiversity in Wales.
We are committed to undertaking, reviewing and reporting on the action agreed annually with the Wales Biodiversity Partnership to meet our Biodiversity Duty under the NERC Act 2006.
We regard biodiversity conservation as an essential component of the vision for Carmarthenshire in the future, as demonstrated in the Integrated Community Strategy. This strategy has a vision to ‘Protect, enhance and conserve our natural and built environment and champion biodiversity in the County’. The council is one of the partner organizations on the Local Service Board that delivers the aims and objectives of the Community Strategy.
Trees are an important natural asset and contribute much to the quality of our urban and rural environment. In addition to their visual amenity, trees act to filter noise, light and dust and can host a range of wildlife. The Council can protect trees by issuing Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). A TPO aims to protect trees that make a significant impact on their surroundings, for example, if they are a good example of their species or form an important feature within the local landscape. A TPO can be made by the local planning authority in respect of a tree, group of trees or woodland including hedgerow trees but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. Members of the public may make a formal request for a TPO to be made.
Properly managed hedgerows are valuable for wildlife supporting a rich diversity of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. In many lowland areas, hedges are the most significant wildlife habitat remaining. The health of hedgerows is crucial for the survival of many of our common as well as rarer species and can act as wildlife corridors. In 1997 regulations came into force to protect important hedgerows, in particular hedgerows which are more than 20 m long or which meet another hedgerow at either end. It should be noted that garden hedges are not affected. We enforce these regulations, you will find more information on our hedgerows page.
Local Biodiversity Action Plan
We contribute to the implementation of the Carmarthenshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan. The Carmarthenshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan has been produced by a partnership of organisations concerned with the conservation of the county's wildlife.
The LBAP contains a series of action plans covering the nationally threatened or declining species and habitats in the county, as well as species and habitats of local concern. It includes for example, action plans for lowland meadows, upland oak woods, red squirrel and water vole.
Each action plan includes actions aimed at conserving and enhancing that particular habitat or species within the county. If these actions are to succeed, they will require a number of individuals and organisations to work together in partnership - including land owners, government agencies, wildlife conservation groups, local authorities and industry.