Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the whole variety of life on earth from soil bacteria through to the great whales.

  • The biodiversity of the Borders is characterised by important wetland, grassland, heathland and woodland habitats on land and a magnificent coastal and marine habitat.
  • The land of the Borders is contained within a horseshoe rim of hills formed by older rocks that ring a central plain of younger rocks, and is defined by the catchment of the River Tweed and its tributaries.
  • There are habitats of international importance such as the river tweed, fens in central Borders and the Berwickshire Coast.

Scottish Borders Local Biodiversity Action Plan

  • The Scottish Borders Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) provides a framework for delivery of biodiversity.
  • The vision of the plan is that the biodiversity of the Scottish Borders is to be maintained and enhanced through the sustainable use of local natural resources and the conservation of the Scottish Borders way of life.
  • This depends on striking a sustained balance between the conservation of our natural heritage resources and those activities that may impact on them such as farming, forestry, fishing, recreation and development.

Habitat Action Plans

  • To guide delivery of the LBAP, more detailed Habitat Action Plans have been produced which have a main objective to create linked integrated habitats in a network across the Borders.
  • This will not only benefit biodiversity but will help deliver a range of benefits for the communities of the Borders by providing services such as flood protection, managing carbon and improving water quality.
  • The next phase of the LBAP implementation will focus on developing an ecosystem approach to help ensure functioning woodland, wetland, grassland, heathland , marine and other ecosystems develop.
  • This will provide ecosystem services including biodiversity to benefit the communities of the Borders and providing opportunities for those communities to enjoy the biodiversity and help take part in making it happen.

For more information on this current phase read about the land use strategy pilot project.

Biodiversity duty

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 placed a duty to further the conservation of biodiversity on all public sector bodies in Scotland. The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to provide a publicly available report, every three years, on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty.

The first report is due to be published by 1 January 2015 covering the period 2011-2014. Local Authorities have a key role in delivering biodiversity such as through their land management and operational activities, as local Planning Authority, Flood Management authority and through partnership working including through the Community Plan.

The biodiversity duty delivery report highlights the actions that we have been carrying out to meet our duty.