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Publication - Research Publication

Biodiversity duty reporting: guidance

Published: 27 Oct 2016
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781786525437

Guidance to help public bodies produce their biodiversity duty report.

65 page PDF

3.3MB

65 page PDF

3.3MB

Contents
Biodiversity duty reporting: guidance
4 Example actions

65 page PDF

3.3MB

4 Example actions

4.1 Actions for public bodies with different resources

This section provides information that may help you to identify actions your public body could carry out to help conserve and improve biodiversity.

Biodiversity Scotland has developed a list of "quick win" actions that most public bodies can carry out. Some of these actions are provided below, with more actions and information available from the Biodiversity Scotland website (see http://www.biodiversityscotland.gov.uk/duty/work/quick-wins/).

If you just occupy an office, you could:

  • Sponsor a species or habitat and raise funds for a local wildlife trust/charity;
  • Sponsor your local wildlife site or club ( e.g. a nearby Local Nature Reserve);
  • Have a noticeboard to tell staff and visitors what you are doing to encourage biodiversity on site or nearby;
  • Plant some window boxes and planters with native species. Make sure you use peat-free compost in these;
  • Hang up bird feeders, put up a bird table, and fix bird boxes in trees or on buildings; or
  • Have a team conservation day.

If you have some outdoor space, you could:

  • Make a pond;
  • Set up a wildlife garden;
  • Don't keep your grounds too 'tidy': areas of long grass, piles of cut wood and bushy hedges provide excellent wildlife habitat;
  • Plant native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses whenever possible though bear in mind that there are some non-natives which are great for wildlife too;
  • Cut meadows and other grassland areas once in spring and once in autumn to encourage flowers to grow and set seed;
  • Instead of amenity grassland, sow a wildflower mix;
  • Encourage birds by planting trees and shrubs with berries e.g. rowan, hawthorn, cherry; or
  • Compost your green waste.

If you use resources, you could:

  • Source your timber based products from sustainably managed woodland - look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo;
  • Use recycled paper;
  • Reduce energy use - low energy light bulbs are a good starting point;
  • Recycle and re-use as much as you can so that you produce less waste; or
  • Encourage staff to cycle or walk to work more - provide safe bike storage and information on safe cycling and walking routes.

You may also want to think about working with others to carry out biodiversity activities. If you have some outdoor space, you may be able to make this available to organisations such as schools and community groups to use for biodiversity related activities. Two examples from previous reports (see Annex 2 for links to reports) include:

  • West Dunbartonshire Council - the Community Greenspace Officer developed partnership working with residents, community groups, educational establishments and others to assist them in identifying community aspirations for greenspace; and
  • Stirling Council - as part of the Branching Out programme for adults using mental health services in Scotland, the council worked with Forth Valley College and Forestry Commission Scotland to run a programme at Plean Country Park.

Section 5 (Further information) of this guidance provides links to websites and other documents that might help you identify activities that your organisation could carry out.

4.2 Examples of biodiversity actions from published reports

Several practical biodiversity actions have been identified from the first round of reports that provide examples of good practice that can be replicated elsewhere. Key resources needed to undertake these actions have been highlighted to help you identify which actions your organisation could carry out.

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB)

Resources/Actions Needed

Members of staff with a genuine interest in the environment have voluntarily formed a "green team"/Environmental Steering group; this team works to actively seek ways to help protect the environment and implement the biodiversity action plan.

Staff members also participate in voluntary activities such as the annual "Kilwinning Spring Clean" which aims to clean up the local area and support the local community. The AiB has also purchased litter picking equipment to help clear litter from the nearby cycle path and enhance the local area.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Care Inspectorate

Resources/Actions Needed

The Care Inspectorate has an annual photographic competition for staff. This features Scottish wildlife and countryside.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Midlothian Council

Resources/Actions Needed

Native wildflower grasslands have been created on over 30 hectares of public open space throughout Midlothian. The local community, including groups such as the Scouts and Rotary Club was invited to suggest sites and participate in the creation of the wildflower grasslands. The areas were sown with seeds native to Scotland and managed to control weeds such as docks. The areas are only cut twice a year and have not only increased biodiversity within the area but also provided substantial financial savings for the council. Wildflower meadows have also been introduced to five local schools as part of the Eco-Schools programme.

Land and/or buildings

Land and/or buildings

The Midlothian Ranger Service covers three areas including recreation access, education, and biodiversity conservation. A key part of the ranger service is raising awareness of biodiversity through working with volunteers, including the Criminal Justice Team. Volunteers undertake practical conservation activities and training (for example, a herbicide spraying course to remove invasive species) to improve areas throughout Midlothian.

The Ranger Service also organises and leads free biodiversity focused activities for local schools and community groups to increase local awareness of biodiversity. Rangers also promote further biodiversity workshops delivered by experts in the field.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Biodiversity knowledge

Biodiversity knowledge

Renfrewshire Council

Resources/Actions Needed

Renfrewshire Council has held several events to link biodiversity with the cultural and built heritage. Exhibitions have been held at Paisley Museum in addition to other interpretative activities such as Walking in Tannahills Footsteps, Paisley's Gaelic Chapel Graveyard. These events were coordinated with the first ever Gaelic Mod in Paisley in 2013 and included bilingual Gaelic/English interpretative signs. All of these were multi-partner and multi-sector initiatives with funding from Historic Scotland, and participation from local history groups, the Tannahill-McDonald Club and Gaelic speaking groups.

Partnership working

Partnership working

Biodiversity knowledge

Biodiversity knowledge

Renfrewshire Council received funding from the CSGN Development Fund to undertake the Network for Newts which saw the creation of 27 shallow scrapes adjacent to the National Cycle Network. The scrapes provide a habitat and spawning habitat created for palmate newts and common frogs. The Sustrans charity is now engaged in a collaborative project to further expand habitats along the NCN and survey newt populations.

Land and/or buildings

Land and/or buildings

Partnership working

Partnership working

Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA)

Resources/Actions Needed

SEPA has undertaken a variety of practical actions in approximately 19 of their office grounds to improve local biodiversity. Actions have been planned and undertaken by Green Network members and staff volunteers, and include: putting up bird feeders, bird boxes and bat boxes; pollinator friendly native planting; creation of grassland meadows through selective mowing, creation of ponds and having hedgehog hibernation boxes. The activities have improved biodiversity around the offices with several species being spotted including a small blue butterfly, red deer and newts. The activities have also helped to build up the capacity of staff across the offices to undertake biodiversity action.

Land and/or buildings

Land and/or buildings

iRecord is an online site for recording, managing and sharing wildlife sightings. Staff members use a bespoke form on iRecord for uploading wildlife sightings at SEPA offices. This allows SEPA to monitor biodiversity improvements around the office grounds and engage staff in the activities undertaken.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Between 2011 and 2014, SEPA was a partner in the organisation and running of several SNH Sharing Good Practice Events, including topics such as: Invasive Non-Native Species, Biosecurity, Ecosystem Services for Land Managers, and Citizen Science and Environmental Monitoring.

Partnership working

Partnership working

Biodiversity knowledge

Biodiversity knowledge

Several of the SEPA offices are situated on business parks or grounds shared with other businesses. To encourage other businesses and individuals to participate in biodiversity activities (and to raise awareness generally) SEPA has undertaken various outreach activities. Activities have included: an organic gardening exhibition in the main foyer of the Strathearn building and selling of plants from a charity organic garden (The Walled Garden Perth), working with 'Take a Pride in Glenrothes' to encourage other businesses to plant their grounds to increase biodiversity, and inviting local volunteer groups such as 'On the Verge' to give biodiversity seminars.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Partnership working

Partnership working

Scottish Water

Resources/Actions Needed

Scottish Water launched a volunteer programme in 2011 which entitles staff to two days paid leave to participate in volunteering activities focused on education, environment and the local community. By 2014, 2,000 employees had taken part in the programme. Volunteer projects include: working with countryside rangers at Dean Castle Country Park, beach cleans to remove litter from the coastline and beach litter survey to inform the Marine Conservation Society of possible litter sources, and participation at the Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park 'Make a Difference Day' to help with national park repairs. Scottish Water has also produced a map to disseminate the range of volunteer work they have undertaken.

Staff involvement

Staff involvement

Scottish Water has developed a range information packs and visited schools to give talks on the water industry, including how it can impact on the environment and wildlife.

Biodiversity knowledge

Biodiversity knowledge

Scottish Water has developed a strong liaison framework with SNH, as well as participation in "sharing good practice" events to help build capacity and knowledge on biodiversity issues and ensure that the core functions of Scottish Water are undertaken in a manner that allows them to further the conservation of biodiversity.

Partnership working

Partnership working

Scottish Water work in partnership with experts to improve the condition and biodiversity of their landholdings. Scottish Water also seeks advice on how to address the spread of non-native species such as the American Signal Crayfish.

Land and/or buildings

Land and/or buildings

Partnership working

Partnership working

Skills Development Scotland

Resources/Actions Needed

Skills Development Scotland ( SDS) has a network of voluntary Green Champions with approximately 60 champions in SDS offices across Scotland. This network helps decrease the environmental impacts of SDS offices, for example by encouraging staff members to print fewer documents.

SDS also encourages staff members to undertake volunteering opportunities such as native tree planting. In 2012 the property and facilities team spent a day in Teaghlach Wood in Perthshire and planted over 50 native trees.

Biodiversity knowledge

Biodiversity knowledge

Staff involvement

Staff involvement


Contact

Email: Land Use and Biodiversity Team, biodiversity@gov.scot