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Oxfordshire Biodiversity Action Plan

The UKBAP recognised that biodiversity is ultimately lost or conserved at the local level. Local Action Plans are therefore an essential part of the process. Their purpose is to focus resources to conserve and enhance biodiversity by means of local partnerships, taking account of national and local priorities, providing the biodiversity element of Local Agenda 21.

The Oxfordshire Biodiversity Action Plan was written by a partnership of over 30 key conservation organisations working in the county and was published in February 2000. It is one of many LBAPs across the UK that are helping to meet national biodiversity targets.

Oxfordshire’s BAP currently contains Action Plans for 18 Habitats (HAPs) and 21 Species (SAPs) and these are implemented through Task Forces and co-ordinated by ONCF. For an overview of Oxfordshire's LBAP please click here for the Generic Action Plan.

We have started an innovative pilot project. By the end of 2006 we will put on this website a small spreadsheet showing measurable targets for 10 hotspot areas that we aim to improve by 2008. For now we are concentrating our efforts on this project so the HAPs and SAPs will not be reviewed. For up to date information please call or email Tom Butterworth on 01865 407429 or bap@oncf.org.uk. A brief summary of  our rebuilding biodiversity project  follows.

Translating the LBAP into action on the ground -Rebuilding Biodiversity in Oxfordshire       The Thames Valley Environment Record Centre (TVERC) has comprehensively mapped the geographical location and status of UK BAP priority habitats associated with designated sites (SSSIs and County Wildlife Sites (CWS)) throughout the county. In particular four were chosen to map:   Lowland Calcareous Grassland, Neutral Grassland ,Grazing Marsh and Lowland Beech and Yew Woodland.

By identifying areas where most sites were relatively large, in good condition and although often fragmented, in relatively close proximity to each other, areas around surviving BAP habitats were prioritised for conservation action.

In all 36 hotspots were identified, 10 of which have been given high priory for action. Steering groups, consisting of partner organisations, are now working to meet the LBAP targets by coordinating their efforts in these areas of greatest importance. This does not mean that the rest of Oxfordshire will be ignored, but considering that 4310.9ha (94.9%) of SSSI and 3613.8ha (73.6%) of CWS are within these hotspots, supporting the habitats and species in these areas will make a considerable contribution to reaching the 2010 target for preventing further loss of biodiversity.