Shropshire is valued for its beautiful countryside and wealth of wildlife by both residents and visitors. This precious 'biodiversity' is in great need of careful protection and constant management. The numbers of even once common species such as song thrushes and cowslips have declined dramatically over recent years. If our children are to have the same chances to enjoy the natural world as we have, we must take action to stop these declines and promote biodiversity.
The Shropshire Biodiversity Partnership (SBP) was formed to help coordinate conservation work and produce the Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan. Nearly 170 individuals are currently involved, including representatives of 71 organisations such as the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Natural England, and the Forestry Commission, as well as Shropshire Council. New partners are actively encouraged to join.
In 1996, Shropshire became the first county in the country to produce a Biodiversity Strategy Biodiversity Challenge: An Agenda for Conservation in the UK – The Shropshire response. Five years later the Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan was devised. This has provided the framework for action to protect the wild habitats and species that together make up Shropshire’s rich and diverse landscape.
Launched in 2002, the Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan (SBAP) provided a detailed outline of the work necessary for the conservation of 34 species and 15 habitats. The plan was updated in 2005/6, and is now updated on a rolling basis, keeping pace with the changing face of biodiversity conservation, both locally and nationally.
Recent publications, such as the 'Making Space for Nature' report and the Natural Environment White Paper called for broad changes in the way biodiversity conservation is delivered in the UK. The SBP has revised its approach to focus on developing and delivering 12 Priority Areas for Conservation Action. Two of these areas are now in major funded projects to deliver landscape-scale conservation, including the Meres and Mosses of the Marches Nature Improvement Area.
The SBP has supported the development of a level Local Nature Partnership (LNP) for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The SBP will provide expert biodiversity advice to the LNP and help to implement action on the ground.
Natural Shropshire, the website of the Shropshire Biodiversity Partnership, holds the current SBAP and also gives further information on BAP habitats and species, and on the work of SBP. The Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS) is the online reporting system for the SBAP, and provides progress reports for specific actions and targets
Links to all these websites are provided on this page.
If you require a printed copy of the Shropshire BAP, please contact us for more details.