In recent years conservationists have become heavily involved in land use planning processes, since the development of houses and other buildings now have such a large impact on every aspect of the landscape. The sad truth is that for every acre of land which is protected, many more are lost to poorly planned development.
The development of new buildings is further encroaching on parks and protected areas as building land can cost up to 40 per cent of the price of a new home. For this reason, many speculators are currently taking to purchasing cheaper land without planning close to building boundaries in the hope that the relevant authorities will eventually crumble to the pressure.
Though the precise number of species considered at risk of extinction is unknown, the drivers behind species loss are generally increasing. These include land conversion and degradation, pollution, and climate change. What's more, the human population continues to grow and with that, consumption is growing - most of which is unsustainable.
If such ecological problems are to be resolved, conservationists and land planners need to work together. It is a question of the planning community making use of the tools and services available to them to improve the prospects for the preservation of biodiversity.
Land planning has occurred at many different scales across the country, from offering audits to homeowners and developers to offering surveys to woodland owners. Whilst communities understand the importance of protecting the natural environment, conservationists and land planners have made little use of the local planning process to work towards the better protection of biodiversity.
Habitat loss is one of the most significant threats to biodiversity. The loss, degradation and alteration of habitats are the primary factors for the decline in numbers of wildlife and plants. Habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity is not confined to species-rich areas like the Tropics but can occur in the United Kingdom too.
The rise of uncontrolled growth, which is often referred to as sprawl, risks the fragmentation of land, the loss of habitats and diminishing biodiversity.
Whilst the huge impact that sprawl has on biodiversity and habitat is scary on a large scale, there is much being done by arboricultural and ecology consultants like Arbtech to help protect species and provide a more consistent approach to planning applications.
The legislation in the United Kingdom dictates that tree, bat, and ecology surveys must be carried out in order to protect certain species of wild plants, birds, and animals.
ODPM Circular 06/05 - a central government planning policy document that specifically deals with biodiversity and conservation - clearly sets out the fact that local planning officers must draw applicants' attention to the conservation and enhancement of habitats and protected species through the results of ecological surveys before planning applications can be accepted.
Protected Species Scoping Surveys, Phase 1 Habitat Surveys and Tree Surveys all demonstrate to the local authorities that homeowners and developers have embraced the government's policies and thus have made protected species a material consideration throughout the design process.
In turn, carrying out these surveys ensures that the planning office cannot reject a planning application on the grounds of insufficient information provided.
Conservation planning offers a powerful way to address the needs of wildlife and plants whilst incorporating the goals of biodiversity and habitat preservation. Homeowners and developers have come to consider wildlife and natural resources through the tools and services that consultants that Arbtech can offer.
This sponsored content was provided by Arbtech