Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. DRAFT Last Updated July 2020




The value of the natural environment is recognised for the many direct economic, health and social benefits we get.

The UK National Ecosystem Assessment, 2011, analyses the natural environment’s value.

New approaches place greater emphasis on reversing the decline and loss of wildlife species through a focus on improving their habitats and the specific features they need. Integrating needs of priority species into habitat management (2010), Natural England

Introduction to the Biodiversity Action Plan. Barnsley is a special place for nature: blanket bog and heather moors have breeding Dunlin and Golden Plover, low-lying wetlands breeding Avocet and Bittern; woodlands, grasslands, rivers, and former pitstacks and railway tracks support a ‘bio’-diversity.

It’s up to us to care for this special place with its diversity of habitats and wildlife species. This is what our Biodiversity Action Plan is about.

Biodiversity threatened

Our natural environment and the variety of its plants, birds and animals is something that we take for granted. We know that if we go to the right places, we can experience this diversity of wildlife, sometimes in large numbers. However this biodiversity is under threat with the numbers of many species having declined significantly.

Habitat loss, inappropriate management, environmental pollution, and pressure from non-native species, all play a part in this loss. To this we now add the changes in our climate and more extremes of weather.

Why should we care about biodiversity?

We have a moral obligation to hand on to the next generation an environment no less rich than that we ourselves inherited.

The natural environment provides us with many direct benefits: food, water, materials and air quality; and it helps to prevent floods and reduce climate change.

Loss of biodiversity affects the ability of natural systems to adapt to change and reduces the resources available for us.

Nature contributes to our mental and physical health, provides recreation and interest, and benefits tourism and the economy.

The pressures on our environment are likely to continue to increase and we need to manage our natural environment in sustainable ways for the benefit of all of us.

Over 1,000 native species have been given priority status because of the severity of their decline, including some widespread and common species.  Review of UK priority habitats and species list (2007)

Who should be involved?

The council, other public bodies and statutory agencies,  schools and colleges, voluntary and private sector organisations, farmers, land managers, community groups, and individuals, all should be involved.

The intention is that all of these organisations and groups, as well as individuals, will find the new Biodiversity Action Plan useful in informing what they do.

There need to be ways in which everyone can help.

The Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan aims to:

It is also intended to set out:


We need a BAP that tackles the problems caused to our wildlife by  


The Biodiversity Action Plan includes actions agreed as necessary. In some cases these will already be underway; some will be in the planning stages; some will be the subject of bids for funding; and some will be markers for future action when resources are available and the conditions are right.

The sections of the Biodiversity Plan are listed on the right …

There is an increased number of habitats and species identified as priorities for action because of their decline and the threats that face them.

Barnsley Local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is being revised and the revised version is anticipated to be completed and adopted in 2021. Revised sections are available for comment:

The Local Biodiversity Action Plan as adopted by Barnsley Council is also available:

Barnsley Local Biodiversity Action Plan is being revised and anticipated to be adopted in 2021. Revised sections are available here for use and comment:

Our Biodiversity Action Plan seeks to:

It is now recognised that nature is highly fragmented and unable to respond well to new pressures. We are seeing a shift to a more integrated and larger scale approach to conservation with more, bigger, better and more joined-up places needed for nature. The Lawton Report, Making Space for Nature (2010)

This is reflected in the concept of a Nature Recovery Network put forward in the Government's 25 Year Environmental Plan 2018.

Natural England published guidance in March 2020 on the design of Nature Networks.

[See habitat networks for further information]

The changes in government policy are set out in: ‘Biodiversity 2020’, the strategy for wildlife and ecosystem services.

Changes in emphasis for the Barnsley Biodiversity Plan.

Since the last BAP was published there have been considerable changes on the ground and in national priorities, policies and guidance. These have influenced the approach in revising our BAP.

Natural England’s Lost Life report, 2010 identifies the scale of the loss and decline of wildlife


State of Nature published by the UK’s wildlife organisations first in 2013 confirms how much our wildlife and ecosystems are under threat.

The State of Nature report (2016) and State of Nature report (2019) update the position.