The Berkshire Nature Conservation Forum is the local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) delivery partnership, which covers the six Unitary Authorities of the Royal County of Berkshire, with the common interest in the conservation and enjoyment of the natural and historic environment of Berkshire.
Our aim is to maintain, restore and enhance those habitats and species that have been identified as priorities nationally and locally, tying conservation work undertaken in the county to the national targets.
On July 17th 2012, a little earlier than expected, the news we have all been waiting for was announced, namely that the application to DEFRA to establish a Local Nature Partnership (LNP) in Berkshire had been successful. Nationally some 50 applications were made, of these 41 were successful, notable exceptions from the SE were Oxfordshire and Sussex.
Berkshire’s application to DEFRA regarding the establishment, and official recognition of a LNP for the county was submitted on June 5th 2012. An exact date for a response to this from DEFRA has not yet been set, but it is understood to be sometime towards the end of July. Over 100 individuals and organisations contributed ideas and their support to the development of what a LNP in Berkshire could achieve, and how it could best function to deliver benefits for local residents and the environment alike.
Awards for Berkshire community groups helping the environment
Berkshire community groups carrying out conservation projects that benefit wildlife and people could receive £1000 in prize money to help fund their next venture.
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust is running the bi-annual Dorothy Morley Conservation Awards for groups involved with activities that encourage community involvement in environmental projects.
We are currently exploring the development of a Local Nature Partnership for Berkshire. As part of this development we want to go through an exercise of exploring ideas and discussing possible ways the partnership could function to benefit biodiversity and communities in Berkshire.
Survey reports for 2011 from the West Berkshire Living Landscape project are now available to view. The reports include the results of bird surveys, a report from wardens and the results of the Greenham Common visitor survey. The project area covers more than 27 square kilometres of lowland heathland, ancient woodland, reedbeds, rivers and streams. It is a mosaic of land rich with history and wildlfe.
The 2011 issue of Berkshire Biodiversity News is now available. This newsletter features much of the biodiversity work being undertaken throughout Berkshire. We hope you find it an interesting read.
Berkshire Nature Conservation Forum (BNCF) has been successful in the application to Defra for funding to develop our existing partnership into one of a Local Nature Partnership. The funding will support capacity building, and as part of this we will be looking to work with a range of new partners (including business, health & wellbeing, access, local community groups) to create a new Local Nature Partnership for Berkshire.