A WELSH council has released its first plan to help reverse declines in local wildlife.

The Powys Nature Partnership, of which the county council is a part, has developed and published the first Powys Nature Recovery Action Plan to tackle issues surrounding biodiversity in the area.

A 2019 State of Nature report estimated that one in six of Wales’ species are at risk of extinction.

It also reported that over the last 50 years 73 species have already become extinct and a further 666 species are threatened with extinction.

This plan looks to protect species counted as locally important – 1,529 were identified as such in Powys in the latest review in 2016.

The plan encompasses many different areas of life in Powys. Local communities are to be advised to look for opportunities to improve parks and greenspaces for wildlife. Individuals are being asked to volunteer, record local wildlife as well as switching away from pesticides and using peat-based compost.

Meanwhile, businesses are to be encouraged to get involved in conservation projects while accommodation providers are to recommended changes like reduce lawn mowing, provide wildlife shelters on site and replacing fence line with natural hedgerows.

Even schools are being asked to become eco schools, including nature in the curriculum and creating wildlife spaces in the school grounds.

The plan will also provide support and advice for landowners and land managers on best practice management for biodiversity, including improving soil quality and soil biodiversity and setting up a Partnership forum to collaborate on land management advice.

The plan has also said it is aiming to “conserve and enhance biodiversity through the planning process.”

It has also plans to develop collaborative projects to tackle invasive non-native species to help preserve native animals in the county.

The Powys Nature Recovery Action Plan is informed by and contributes towards the goals and duties set out in recent legislation such as the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) and the Environment (Wales) Act (2016).

The plan will be subject to continual review by the Powys Nature Partnership and will evolve over time in response to new information, future consultations and changes in legislation, policy, and funding opportunities.

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Cllr Jackie Charlton, cabinet member for a greener Powys said: “Powys is a beautiful county with an abundance of varied and beautiful landscapes, but we can’t ignore that even in our idyllic and rural part of the world, the decline in nature and wildlife is still a huge issue.”

“We cannot sit back on our laurels, we must take action, and the development of the Powys Nature Recovery Action Plan and the collaboration of all the organisations and individuals working together in the Powys Nature Partnership is a great start.”