Council launches consultation on the draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2022 – 2027

13th December 2021

Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Cover

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has commenced a consultation period on the draft Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2022 – 2027.

The Consultation period will open on Monday 13th December 2021 and will remain open for responses until Friday 18 March 2022.

The Council’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, explores the unique biodiversity of the district from the rare boglands to the common garden bird. It also encompasses the biodiversity crisis that is unfolding worldwide, and the practical steps the Council can take to restore biodiversity locally.

A more sustainable future has been an aspiration at a global, national, regional and local level over the last five years in particular. This aspiration is reflected through other Council Strategies such as the Fermanagh & Omagh Community Plan 2020-2030 and the Council’s Corporate Plan and Performance Improvement Plans where restoring and improving the biodiversity of the area is a key action plan.

Speaking at the launch of the consultation period, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, said:

“The uniqueness of our hills, lakes, rivers, caves, woodlands and bogs, is underpinned by healthy ecosystems, which are rich in wildlife and teeming with variety. However, we must acknowledge that those ecosystems and wildlife are under threat at a global, regional and local level.

In recognising this, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has been working in partnership with schools, communities and other key stakeholders over the last number of years with the aim of increasing protection for local biodiversity through raising awareness and project work.

The Draft Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which I am proud to support, will aim to build on these partnerships and commit to more action to promote and preserve local biodiversity, implementing  best practice, delivery against  legislative requirements, leading by example and collaborating with a wide range of public, private and community stakeholders  along the way.”

The Council, through the delivery of its Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, aims to increase biodiversity action locally through 3 main actions;

  • Protect and enhance biodiversity on Council managed estate
  • Increase awareness and action for local biodiversity in the District
  • Work in partnership with others to deliver biodiversity action in the District.

From embracing the ‘Don’t Mow, Let it Grow’ campaign, to planting more native trees, as well as protecting the wildlife within the Council’s estate, the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is wide reaching and aspires to work in partnership with schools, communities and stakeholders to delivery it.

As part of the consultation and to recognise the contribution of members of the public to the process, participants in the process will be entered into a draw for a Biodiversity Kit which includes, a bird nest box, a native Rowan tree, native wildflower seeds a wildlife gardening book and ID guides and for individual winners, a signed copy of Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty. School winners will receive the same package, however, they will receive a copy of Dara’s latest book, “Wild Child; A Journey Through Nature”. There are five kits available for individuals and five for schools.

The Draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is available to download here. To ensure inclusive and effective public engagement and awareness of the draft Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan, the Council has also produced an easy-read version of the document and consultation form.

It is important for members of the public to have their say on any consultation affecting the future of the district.  If you would like to contribute  to the consultation on  the draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, please email biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com  or complete the online survey by clicking on this link.