We are asking landowners and leaseholders to identify land in Bath and North East Somerset that could support nature recovery.
Through this call for sites, we intend to connect interested individuals with our partners and potential funders, to guide landowner advice and to share project opportunities. We are particularly interested in finding land suitable for biodiversity net gain (BNG) off-setting.
What is a nature site?
Nature site is the term that we use for land in Bath and North East Somerset that has the potential to support nature recovery. These sites are owned or leased by someone with an interest in nature recovery and have the potential to support our strategic priorities.
Potential sites to consider include land thought to be of limited or reduced value to wildlife (for example, because of a lack of management or previous intensive management) that appears to have good potential for restoration or enhancement. Sites might include land where traditional grazing or hay making have ceased, or where land parcels have fallen out of agricultural use or changed ownership.
What are we proposing to do?
We are asking landowners and leaseholders to identify land within Bath and North East Somerset that might be suitable for BNG off-setting, and land that is located next to or close to existing local wildlife sites and key habitats, such as rivers, wetlands, woodlands and species-rich grasslands.
We will then map these nature sites on our online map. The mapping also highlights sites that could contribute to BNG off-setting.
Why are we proposing to do it?
We declared an Ecological Emergency in July 2020, recognising the severity and consequences of the degradation of the natural environment and loss of wildlife.
Increasing the amount of land and waterways managed positively for nature and supporting others to act is an important part of our plan to tackle the Ecological Emergency and restore nature. We do not own a lot of land, but we are committed to helping others to increase the amount of land managed positively for nature. Read our Ecological Emergency Action Plan to find out what else we're doing to tackle the Ecological Emergency.
Before you submit a site
We will only accept sites submitted by the landowner or leaseholder and we are not able to advise those interested in creating or enhancing habitat in a garden.
If you are interested in making space for nature within your garden and would like guidance, please visit our What you can do to help nature page.
We recommend you consider the habitats you would like to create or improve and the species that you would like to support, how this would work alongside adjoining habitats and land use, and what the long-term management of the land might involve. It is also important to consider the existing habitats on site to ensure that any changes to existing habitats are beneficial. For example, woodland creation or pond creation can sometimes result in the loss of important grassland habitats.
We also recommend that you explore the West of England Nature Recovery Network maps, which show areas considered strategically significant for nature recovery at a regional level.
How can you respond?
You can submit proposed sites at any time through our online form.
During the submission process, you will be asked to outline the proposed site using an online mapping tool.
How to use our mapping tool
All paper forms should be accompanied by an annotated plan showing the site clearly outlined and its relation to nearby or bordering land, noting any relevance to neighbouring habitats and areas of landscape or heritage interest.
Please post your forms and plans to:
Green Infrastructure & Nature Recovery
We will assess the information you submit to us to identify whether the proposal could contribute towards the district’s strategic priorities for nature recovery and whether it is appropriate to the local environment. The proposed habitat must be feasible and ecologically beneficial.
We will confirm whether the site will be added to our nature sites map and provide feedback on any proposals that we believe are not appropriate, explaining why we have made that decision and how the proposal could be adjusted.
If you need more information or support with your submission, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We carry out and publish Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) to check the possible impact of our policies and proposals on equalities groups.