A commitment to take action to tackle the crisis facing the natural world has been made today by Staffordshire County Council.
A Nature Recovery Declaration for Staffordshire has been drawn up by the county council and partners, including Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
The declaration details actions the county council can take to help to reverse the decline of wild species and provide a more hospitable landscape for wildlife.
developing an evidence-based action plan including short and long-term targets for putting nature into recovery by 2030
prioritising the protection of peatlands and other high quality wildlife habitats
formulating a tree strategy that is guided by ecological mapping to identify the best locations for tree-planting
investing in nature-based solutions to climate change in order to tackle the nature crisis and climate emergency together.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate change Simon Tagg said: “Our Nature Recovery Declaration recognises the role the county council will play in leading the recovery of nature across Staffordshire, as recently confirmed in the Environment Act 2021.
“We will now develop a Local Nature Recovery Strategy with our partners in the districts and boroughs, working closely with our communities and other partners across the county such as the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
“Halting the decline of wild species and the preservation and enhancement of Staffordshire’s natural habitats and environment is beneficial to everyone and is central to our aims to tackle climate change. This underpins a healthy, happy, prosperous society which we want all people in Staffordshire to enjoy.”
The strategy will be embedded across all the county council’s operations, from land management to business development sites and highway maintenance.
“Our wonderful countryside sites provide a great foundation for this work and include some of Staffordshire’s most important and highly protected wildlife habitats such as at Cannock Chase. We will work with our county farmers as we balance the need for local food production to aid self-sufficiency while promoting biodiversity.
“The county council is already working to support the environment at our network of business parks. Recent examples include planting thousands of trees with the Forest of Mercia on our green spaces in Cannock Chase district and our natural habitat reclamation with the Wildlife Trust on the development of the Stafford Western Access Route.”
Liz Peck, Advocacy and Campaigns Manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The natural world is in crisis, and populations of many of our best-loved species are in freefall. Our landscape is becoming increasingly inhospitable for wildlife, primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, the impacts of climate change and pollution.
“By pledging to support nature’s recovery, Staffordshire County Council have taken an important step towards ensuring nature is given the focus and resources it needs. It is encouraging that our decision-makers are pledging to take action to address the ecological emergency, and that it receives the same prominence in policy as climate change. The climate and nature crises are inextricably linked, and we can’t fix one without fixing the other. It is imperative that we take action now to reverse the continuing collapse of our natural world.”