Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth, and includes all species of plants and animals and the natural systems which support them.
Conservation of biodiversity is vital in our response to climate change and in the delivery of key ecosystem services such as food, flood management, pollination and provision of clean air and water.
The county council has a duty, as do all local authorities, under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in exercising all of their functions. This includes developing and influencing local policies and strategies; planning and development control; managing its estate; procurement; education, awareness raising and advisory functions.
Conserving biodiversity includes protecting, restoring and enhancing species populations and habitats. The most important sites for biodiversity are protected by international, national or local designations. Particularly rare or threatened species are protected by law.
Durham Biodiversity Partnership
Durham County Council is a member of the Durham Biodiversity Partnership. The partnership was established 1996 and is made up of a wide range of organisations and individuals committed to conserving and enhancing biodiversity. The partnership covers the administrative areas of County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Darlington. More information about the partnership and its work can be found on the Durham Biodiversity Partnership website.
Durham Biodiversity Action Plan
The Durham Biodiversity Action Plan contains action plans for species and habitats of particular importance to the biodiversity of the area. The action plan can be viewed online on the Durham Biodiversity Partnership website.