Biodiversity is the whole variety of life on Earth, all species of plants and animals, their genetic variation and the habitats they are part of. It includes not just the rare or the threatened but also the wildlife that is familiar to us in the places where we live and work.
Gloucestershire is renowned for the diversity and scenic beauty of its landscape and wildlife. This is based on the fact it has very varied geology, geomorphology, soils and land use. There are many designated sites for nature conservation and Gloucestershire is the location for three great rivers - the Severn, the Thames and the Wye.
Natural Areas are parts of England with similar wildlife and natural features. They reflect geology, land-use and land use history rather than administrative boundaries. They provide a more meaningful basis on which to evaluate the wildlife and geological resource. New National Character Areas have been launched which are based on but replace Natural Areas.
Every day species' extinctions are continuing at up to 1,000 times or more the natural rate. Stable populations may well be below target levels. Not only are these extinctions irreversible, but they also pose a serious threat to our health and wellbeing. Find out more about Biodiversity and Climate Change in Gloucestershire.
A United Kingdom partnership has produced a 'Biodiversity Planning Toolkit'which was developed by the Association of Local Government Ecologists with a wide range of conservation and planning organisations.