Biodiversity is the variety of life. It encompasses the whole of the natural world, from the commonplace to the critically endangered.
In Nottinghamshire features that are particularly important for biodiversity include hedgerows, woodlands, grasslands, heathlands, ponds, rivers and wetlands. For more information about Nottinghamshire’s important habitats, see the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group.
Biodiversity is under threat from pressures including:
- habitat loss and degradation
- the introduction of exotic and invasive species
- over exploitation and unsustainable harvesting of natural resource
- climate change.
As a result, Nottinghamshire has lost:
- 97% of our flower-rich meadows since the 1930s
- 90% of our heathland since the 1920s.
(source: Nottinghamshire Biodivsersity Action Group)
Species such as grass of parnassus, pearl-bordered fritillary and Nottingham catchfly have all become extinct in the county.
Why biodiversity is important
Safeguarding biodiversity is a key aspect of sustainability. A healthy natural environment is a crucial component of the quality of life for local communities. It contributes to:
- wellbeing and health – providing spaces for exercise, learning and reflection
- local economy – delivering direct economic benefits in farming, fisheries, forestry, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing
- environment – giving us essential services, such as nutrient cycling, soil formation and pollination. Features such as hedgerows form windbreaks and prevent soil erosion; floodplains and washlands act as release valves for rivers in flood, and trees soak up carbon dioxide.
Find out how you can help biodiversity in your community, home and garden.
Nottinghamshire’s protected species
A number of Nottinghamshire’s native plant and animal species receive legal protection, due to their rarity, sensitivity or vulnerability, including great crested newts, water voles, otters and bats.
Further information about this protection and full lists of the species concerned, see Joint Nature Conservation Committee
We recognise our responsibility as a local authority and land-owner to protect and enhance biodiversity. We work in partnership with:
- Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group
- Greenwood Community Forest
- Lowland Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Local Nature Partnership
and others to proactively protect and enhance our natural habitats and safeguard the species they support.