The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), which outlines plans to contribute to improving the local environment and protecting and enhancing the boroughs wildlife has officially been adopted by Hackney Council.
The BAP 2012-2017, identifies six priority habitats including Hackney’s parks and the built environment. It also identifies the most important species found there, and the ones that are being targeted, from the swift and honeysuckle to the Jay and a Maiden’s blush moth.
By adopting the BAP, Hackney Council has made a commitment to deliver a series of actions to conserve and enhance wildlife. This includes creating one hectare of wildflower meadow, running wildlife volunteering days, and requiring developers to install ‘living roofs’ on to new buildings.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture said: “Improving biodiversity and protecting the range of plants and animals we have in Hackney is a priority for the Council. Over the coming years we will be working hard to ensure that we conserve and enhance Hackney’s wildlife.”
In an urban area like Hackney, biodiversity plays a vital role in cleaning the air, reducing the effect of the 'urban heat island' (hot temperatures in summer) and helping to control water run-off and so reduce flooding. It has also been shown that contact with the natural environment can improve wellbeing and reduce stress.
Hackney’s parks and green spaces provide opportunities for people to experience nature close at hand as well as providing valuable spaces for urban wildlife. Covering 97 hectares of natural habitat such as woodland, meadow and rivers – equivalent of 160 football pitches, they are home to a number of important plants and animals including bats, house sparrows and Britain's rarest native tree the Black Poplar.
The Council ran a 12 week consultation from 1 August to 24 October 2011. A copy of the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) can be found at: www.hackney.gov.uk/biodiversity
Details about park events can found at www.hackney.gov.uk/park-events