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Strategy to enhance Staffordshire’s natural environment is given green light

Support for wildlife, biodiversity and Staffordshire’s wider natural environment is set to be enhanced as part of new plans. 


Staffordshire County Council has developed a Natural Environment Strategy, which aims to support nature recovery on council land and to act as a champion of activity across the county. 


The county council has set out the following 10 objectives to achieve this: 


1. Develop and deliver a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent  

2. Ensure coordinated delivery of biodiversity net gain.  

3. Ensure county council policies, strategies and operations consider biodiversity enhancement and reduce risks to the environment.  

4. Ensure all designated sites owned by SCC have management measures in place to achieve favourable condition by 2042.  

5. Manage and protect 30% of county council land (excluding highways) for biodiversity by 2030.  

6. Develop a wildlife-friendly management approach to roadside verges. 

7. Develop a suite of species recovery measures for our land.  

8. Use nature-based solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change wherever possible, to maximise benefits to both wildlife and climate.  

9. Enhance and restore landscape character and quality and support landscape-scale nature recovery.  

10. Raise awareness and support the active involvement of communities in caring for Staffordshire’s natural environment. 


Initiatives include expanding woodland for carbon storage and flood protection in addition to continuing with projects to restore and conserve native crayfish, adder, nightjar and rare insects at Cannock Chase.


The strategy was unanimously approved by cabinet members this morning (Wednesday 17 January) after it was reviewed by the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee last month. 


Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change at SCC, Simon Tagg, said: “As a council, we recognise and value the vital contribution our natural environment makes to Staffordshire: environmentally, socially, economically, and for our health and wellbeing. We want Staffordshire to continue to be a great place to live, and caring for our natural environment is pivotal to that goal. 


“The UK now faces an environmental crisis, with 13% of England’s species threatened with extinction and climate change bringing additional pressures. We must act now. 


“Our natural environment strategy sets out measures we will take on our land, through our functions, and with our partners. We are fortunate as a council to own and manage some of Staffordshire’s most important sites for nature, such as our internationally important heathland at Cannock Chase. 


“Ensuring our designated sites are in good condition for wildlife, caring for our protected landscapes and protecting endangered wildlife on our properties are all ways that we can make a real difference.” 


This strategy will help to deliver the Nature Recovery Declaration made by the county council in 2022, and duties under the Environment Act 2021. 


It, furthermore, supports delivery of national and global targets to help the natural world regain and retain good health.


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