Learn more about Edinburgh’s amazing natural world during Edinburgh Biodiversity Week 21-29 May 2016. From Arthur’s Seat to Red Moss Nature Reserve in the Pentlands, we have some very special places for wildlife. Have a look at the programme of events and join us next week, or at other events throughout the year.
Edinburgh’s unique geology creates a very special natural environment and helps to bring biodiversity right into the heart of the city. Our location between the Pentland Hills and Firth of Forth gives us a wide variety of important habitats, including the coastal areas which are of global importance for some birds species in winter.
The plan is delivered by the Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership. The Partnership has over 30 members. Led by the Council’s Planning and Transport Service, partners have worked hard in recent months to produce this fourth Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan. It contains over 250 actions and reflects all of the exciting collaborative work planned for the next three years. Engagement with stakeholders and local communities continues to be at the heart of the Plan.
For the first time, the Plan contains specific actions relating to the built environment. This reflects an increasing recognition of the relationship between the built and natural environments, in relation to climate change mitigation, green infrastructure and the water environment in particular. There are also sections on Green and Blue Networks (connected water habitats – rivers, ponds, lochs and sea), Geodiversity (rocks, minerals, sediments and soils) and Species.
A celebration and launch event is planned during Edinburgh Biodiversity Week (21 – 29 May 2016). For more information contact us at email@example.com
2016 will be an eventful year for the Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership, led by the City of Edinburgh Council. A fourth Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan (2016-18) is being prepared which includes an exciting range of projects and activities to improve the city for wildlife and people. The Plan will be launched in the spring this year, followed by a programme of events throughout the year.
The Partnership works with local communities across Edinburgh to deliver biodiversity improvements. A mix of local and national partners such as Water of Leith Conservation Trust, Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust and of course ourselves at the Council, all contribute to the Plan. These partners work with community groups, schools and volunteers to support some fantastic projects. Programmes such as RSPB Giving Nature a Home, Edinburgh Living Landscape and the Eco-schools programme all help to deliver the aims of the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan.
Edinburgh also has a wealth of voluntary expert naturalist groups and individuals who carry out invaluable survey and monitoring work as well as practical tasks (such as meadow management) to help rare – and less rare – species. Some of our wildlife monitoring programmes have been running for over 15 years, and they help us to understand longer term environmental changes. The new Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan will build on the success of this previous work.
The number of swifts has greatly declined in Edinburgh. These birds nest in tiny spaces in older buildings, and return to the same nest year after year. As our buildings, especially tenements, have been repaired and restored, some nesting spaces have been lost. This is why Swifts have been a priority in the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan since it was first published in 2000.
In recent years the Planning and Building Standards Service has promoted the creation of new nest sites by asking for hollow nesting ‘bricks’ to be included in new buildings. This has helped to create new potential nest sites across the city. There have also been projects to promote nests on existing buildings. Our guidance note on Swifts and developments contains more information on how to do this. If you have any queries about Swifts in Edinburgh or biodiversity in general, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All public bodies in Scotland are legally required to look after biodiversity and report on how this is being achieved to Scottish Government. We published a report in December last year on the wide range of activities undertaken to improve biodiversity in Edinburgh.