Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




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

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

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

This was reinforced in the Dasgupta Review (2021) on ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’ and the introduction of a ‘Natural Capital’ approach. This considers the value of the natural environment for the economy and the wellbeing of everyone in policy and decision making. [.gov link]

It is also 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.

Lawton Report, Making Space for Nature (2010)

Introduction to our 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 pit stacks 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 or like the Twite and Turtle Dove lost to Barnsley.

Habitat loss as a result of more intensive agriculture and increasing demands for housing and business; inappropriate management; environmental pollution; and pressure from non-native species; all play a part. 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, one that benefits the diversity of wildlife species that shares the environment with us.

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 with population increase and we need to manage our natural environment in sustainable ways for the benefit of all of us.

These are reasons for having a biodiversity action plan.

Some local priority species - Otter, Hedgehog, Tree Sparrow and Kestrel

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)

Our Biodiversity Action Plan seeks to:

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 these organisations and groups, as well as individuals, will find the 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 is now ready for comment.

Links to the different sections are given below:

The Environment Act now strengthens the duty, under the NERC Act 2006, on public authorities to have regard for the conservation of biodiversity.

It makes explicit the requirement for public authorities to assess how they can take action to conserve and enhance biodiversity, and then take these actions. In addition it includes an important target to reverse the decline in species abundance by the end of 2030.

Three new environmental land management schemes have now been published Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery, and Landscape Recovery [Link]

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 2020 on the design of Nature Networks.[See habitat networks]

The Environment Act 2021 requires local planning authorities to take into account Local Nature Recovery Strategies and the requirement for all new development to demonstrate a 10% net gain in biodiversity.

The changes in government policy are set out in: ‘Biodiversity 2020’, the strategy for wildlife and ecosystem services. in the 25 year Environment Plan, and in the Environment Act 2021

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


The State of Nature reports published by the UK’s wildlife organisations in 2013, 2016, 2019 and most recently in 2023, confirm how much our wildlife and ecosystems are under threat, with, in the main, no let up in the decline.


Barnsley Local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) hass been revised.

Links to the different sections are given below: