Biodiversity is short for biological diversity. It simply means the variety of life. This is all the living things that occur in the natural world and the variation between them. So it includes algae to oak trees, bacteria to blue whales.

Biodiversity is not just restricted to rare or threatened species, although Monmouthshire has plenty of both. It includes all living things in the natural world whether common or critically endangered.

There are lots of ways to support Biodiversity and get involved in helping in your area. Many can be found through the work of members of the Monmouthshire Biodiversity Partnership. These include local societies and groups that want to make a difference. Anyone can make a valuable contribution.

Special sites

Monmouthshire contains many special sites which are important for their biodiversity. These include Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), a European designation, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). You can see where these areas are in Monmouthshire on the Countryside Council for Wales’s interactive maps.

As well as being a SAC the Severn Estuary is a Special Protection Area (SPA), another European designation, and a Ramsar site (an international designation). The County Council belongs to the Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities (ASERA) to help manage the estuary’s special interest.

There are also many sites of local importance for nature conservation. The County Council has been working with Gwent Wildlife Trust to identify Local Wildlife Sites. Gwent Wildlife Trust gives management advice to the owners of Local Wildlife Sites.

The Monmouthshire Biodiversity Partnership exists to develop and implement the Monmouthshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan. The Local Biodiversity Action Plan aims to protect, conserve and where possible enhance biodiversity in Monmouthshire.

Members including a range of local organisations and independent naturalists with a shared goal to conserve local biodiversity. The County Council provides support and currently takes the lead in the partnership.

The Monmouthshire Biodiversity Partnership is grant aided by the Countryside Council for Wales.

The County Council also works with SEWBReC, the local biological records centre for south east Wales. SEWBReC provides a service for collating, sharing and utilising the wealth of biological data, and knowledge, which exists to help inform decisions which may affect biodiversity. SEWBReC also support the community of amateur naturalists who supply those records, including the Gwent Recorders Forum.

Seen Something Interesting?

Casual sightings of just about any wildlife can be valuable if you record and report them. A simple way to do this is using SEWBReC on-line recording form. Information helps save wildlife and wildlife habitats that make up our shared biodiversity.

Find out more about biodiversity recording from the National Biodiversity Network and SEWBReC

Local Biodiversity Action Plan

The County Council has adopted the Monmouthshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). The LBAP has been produced by the Monmouthshire Biodiversity Partnership and the County Council with support from the Countryside Council for Wales.

Local Biodiversity Action Plans provide the link between national and regional biodiversity targets and local priorities and actions. We regularly report local actions as part of a UK wide reporting network.

You can download the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, or contact us to obtain a printed copy of the plan.

The plan has three parts:

Part A – Biodiversity Framework

This details the importance of biodiversity. It provides information about living sustainably and considering Biodiversity in every-day life.

Part B – Habitat and Species Action Plans

This contains specific background information, objectives and actions relating to priority habitats and species for Monmouthshire. Further habitats and species will be added as plans are written.

Part C – Planning Guidance

This provides guidance on the consideration of Biodiversity in the planning process. It has been written for use by developers, planners and others involved in the planning process. Species and Habitat Advice Notes cover the species and habitats most likely to be encountered during the planning process. This part of the plan meets the requirement that Local Biodiversity Action Plans should be adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance to the Unitary Development Plan.