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More hedges and trees to be planted across Babergh and Mid Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:27 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 09 November 2020

Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils have agreed a biodiversity action plan to help wildlife flourish. Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils have agreed a biodiversity action plan to help wildlife flourish. Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

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More trees and hedges will be planted across two Suffolk districts after plans to improve biodiversity were agreed.

Elisabeth Malvisi, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILElisabeth Malvisi, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Cabinets at Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils unanimously approved the biodiversity action plan on Monday afternoon, which will see a raft of measures undertaken to improve wildlife and animal habitats.

MORE: Councils to agree biodiversity plan

The actions in the plan, which will cost £151,000 at Mid Suffolk and £147,350 at Babergh, include:

• Detailed mapping of wildlife corridors, council-owned land and tree and hedge planting locations

Mid Suffolk cabinet member for the environment Jessica Fleming. Picture: GREGG BROWNMid Suffolk cabinet member for the environment Jessica Fleming. Picture: GREGG BROWN

• Additional hedge and tree planting

• Management of meadows

• Work to explore the potential for a green burial site

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• Biodiversity conditions as part of the planning process and a detailed planning document outlining expectations of developers

• Measures to encourage homes to make positive changes for biodiversity

Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at Babergh, said: “We are all in this together. The first piece of work is only the start of what’s needed to be done, a joined-up collaborative effort from everyone.”

Babergh Green group leader Robert Lindsay welcomed the consensus from across the political parties for improvements in biodiversity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBabergh Green group leader Robert Lindsay welcomed the consensus from across the political parties for improvements in biodiversity. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Her Mid Suffolk counterpart, Conservative councillor Jessica Fleming, said: “The actions are important first steps to enable the districts to take the environment seriously, and by this I mean recognising that monitoring, investment and some form of restraint on human activity are necessary in order to understand and keep wild areas for species other than ourselves.”

It was recognised that budget pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic made financing the plan more difficult at Babergh, but leader John Ward vowed to come up with solutions that would enable the work to happen because it is “essential for us to make progress”.

According to the councils, the mapping work will be the key starting point as it will inform areas for future tree and hedge-planting, as well as areas for more focus and what can be done to improve and create wildlife corridors.

MORE: Babergh and Mid Suffolk declare climate emergencies

That survey is due to be produced by the end of September next year.

The action plan has been developed by a joint cross-party task group after both councils declared climate emergencies last year, and has the backing of the opposition political groups.

Mid Suffolk Green leader Rachel Eburne said it was a “very effective short, sharp, cross party group” while Babergh Green leader Robert Lindsay described it as “a very positive series of meetings” with “clear consensus all wanted stuff done”.


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