TO carry out a Biodiversity Audit of any parish it is necessary to have an understanding about the range of habitats and species in the parish. That is what informs how nature conservation can be progressed through the parish in perpetuity. It is a living document supported by regular updates on species found etc. The stimulus for such an audit is often the requirement of the local planning authority (LPA) for parishes to address the climate change emergency that many parishes have signed up to. To date over 400 authorities and councils in the UK have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, i.e. ten years left. If your parish is affected, you need a Bio Audit.
The latest iteration the Bio Audit Crowhurst Parish Council (14 May 2020 – 124pp) reviews the Habitat Assets, the Species Assets, and then sets out the Conservation Assets. It was a community exercise, with over 30 people supplying data, and with inputs from RSPB, SWT, EA, ESCC, AONB Unit and local and regional groups, and all this pulled together by local naturalist and expert ecologist Dr. John Feltwell. It highlighted ancient woodlands and old meadows in the AONB, 800 year old hedgerows and 1000 year old trees, and ponds (70 to date). It has 78 colour photographs and 37 planning maps. The list of flora and fauna was documented, with many rare and endangered. The effects of habitat loss and flooding were included. Gaps in field data coverage and what people could be doing now were recommended. The search for further evidence to inform nature conservation in the parish now has a definitive factual baseline that will assist understanding local climate change effects.