A new Biodiversity Action Plan sets out the actions the council and our partners will take to protect and develop local habitats and species and help address climate change.
Following a public consultation, the Environment and Climate Change Committee has approved the action plan for 2023 to 2027.
Some of the actions to be taken forward this year will be the creation of wildflower meadows in local parks to support pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and moths, as well as bats and birds which will feed over this habitat. This continues the work to establish meadows in the three country parks, and planting carried out around the new Bellshill Gateway cycle facility to enhance the wildflower meadow.
Twenty new ponds have been created and 30 maintained for wildlife in the last five years. In the year ahead, more will be improved and new ponds created.
In recent years, seven peat bogs have been restored to functioning ecosystems which helps to increases habitat for wildlife and impacts positively on climate change. This year in Cumbernauld work will take place on a number of bogs to aid the retention of water and help the peat bog function to store carbon again, using funding from Nature Scot’s Peatland Action Fund.
A large scale invasive species management program will be carried out in the Kilsyth area, which will include opportunities for the community to learn how to confidently identify and report a range of invasive species. Managing invasive species protects our native plants, which then provide food and shelter for native animals.
“Across Scotland the UK we are facing twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, and this new plan will guide our efforts to conserve and enhance our local wildlife, plants, trees and open spaces,” said Councillor Helen Loughran, Convener of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.
“Our work here in North Lanarkshire is contributing to national and international targets to reduce our carbon footprint and our own commitment to be carbon net zero by 2030.
“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our consultation last year. It was very clear from the feedback how important the local environment is to residents, from parks, open spaces and rivers to churches and cemeteries, golf courses and school grounds.
“Through this newly updated action plan, the council will work with partners and communities to ensure our unique biodiversity and environment is protected and nurtured for the future.”
The action plan has been developed through the North Lanarkshire Biodiversity Partnership and organisations including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Green Action Trust and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.