Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
The UK government has committed to preserve our biodiversity in several international treaties. This is translated into action at the local level by the Local Area Biodiversity Plans (LABP) which are based on local council areas.
Your local council will have a biodiversity officer who should be the first point of contact for schools or further and higher education establishments wishing to conserve or enhance the biodiversity in their grounds or local community.
Rare or protected species are protected wherever they are found. This includes:
You are committing an offence if you disturb or harm protected species or if you damage any structure that they use as shelter unless you have a licence to do this.
The law protects all wild birds and their nests and eggs. You must not disturb birds' nests while they are in use. All species of bats and their roosts are protected whether bats are present or not.
This has implications for grounds management and for the maintenance and refurbishment of buildings.
If work proposed on your site could in any way harm protected species or damage structures used for shelter you should seek advice from your conservation body.
Our Nature Conservation guidance provides further information on protected species and the measures in place to protect them.
In Scotland, the Nature Conservation Act requires all public bodies and office holders to further the conservation of biodiversity where possible in the course of their work. Schools and further and higher education establishments are considered public bodies for the purposes of the act.
This new British Standard 42020 aims to integrate biodiversity into all stages of the planning and development process.
It is of relevance to professionals working in the fields of ecology, land use planning, land management, architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, forestry, arboriculture, surveying, building and construction.
Biodiversity is one of the eight topics that schools address when working towards the Eco-schools awards.
The Eco-schools programme aims to develop:
A number of organisations can help a school which plans to conserve or enhance biodiversity within the school grounds or the local community. The local council biodiversity officer will be able to provide advice and suggest useful contacts.
The area of land managed by further and higher education institutions in the UK is roughly equivalent to the area of the Isle of Wight. Sensitive management of this land could have a real impact on the conservation of biodiversity. Establishing a biodiversity policy for the campus means that biodiversity is formally recognised and can be considered in strategic planning and decision making. This can bring a number of benefits including:
The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) has produced a booklet which provides advice on:
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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