Biodiversity is a core component of sustainable development that underpins economic development and prosperity. It has an important role to play in developing locally distinctive and sustainable communities.
From 1 October 2006, all public authorities in England and Wales have a Duty to consider the conservation of biodiversity in exercising their activities. The Duty aims to raise the profile and visibility of biodiversity, clarify existing commitments with regards to biodiversity, and to make it a natural and integral part of policy and decision making.
The Duty is set out in Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC) 2006 which states: “Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity”.
As part of the museum’s response to the legislation, biodiversity audits have now been completed across all Amgueddfa Cymru sites. The audits were completed using the expertise of the staff within the Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology based at the National Museum Cardiff.
All of the museums sites received a Phase 1 habitat survey, which is the standard system for classifying and mapping wildlife habitats in Britain. The surveys provided information about the nature, location and extent of habitat types of each site.
The results of the Phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to determine areas suitable for more detailed survey, to indicate areas of value for nature conservation, and to provide a simple baseline for monitoring change in the future.
Additional surveys were also conducted, looking at the species present on the museum’s sites in more detail. Examples included the beetle diversity of the woods at St Fagans: National History Museum and the spider diversity of Big Pit: National Coal Museum.
The Habitat surveys and others reports can be found here.