Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Rachel Rourke 01298 28400 ex. 2139
Declarations of Interest
1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
2. ‘Other’ Interests
That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2023 be approved as a correct record.
Introduce Biodiversity Officer
The Head of Communities and Climate Change introduced Katie Hampton, who had just been appointed as the Biodiversity Officer for the Alliance.
Hollie Fisher, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Recovery Manager gave a presentation (copy attached) around A Plan for Nature, the objective of which was to form the basis of a formal biodiversity strategy which would inform the development of DCC’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy, due to be approved by 31.03.25.
Members were presented with an overview of the project, the baseline biodiversity assessment, nature recovery networks, biodiversity net gain (including the identification of potential sites) and the proposed action plan.
Matters discussed included:
· %age of woodland coverage
· Access to and ownership of land including Kinder Scout and the need to identify shared goals and partnership working
· Conflict between different land uses
· The potential for the design of developments to incorporate key habitats
· Carbon credits for woodland and peat bog areas
· Concern around the level of influence HPBC could have particularly in Moorland areas
· Integration with the new local plan
It was noted that the plan is intended for the borough not the borough council, and the borough council can influence this process by the production and delivery of this plan through partnership working. Reference was also made to the Wilder High Peak project and opportunities through the Local Plan review and PDNP management plan approach which may provide opportunities to match up.
That Hollie be thanked for her attendance and presentation.
DCC Verges Project - Susan White, DCC
Susan White provided an update on the DCC verges project, which was a time limited project to establish the opportunities and appetite to manage highway verges differently. Key principles involved machinery needs and the cost to change to a cut and collect system rather than a cut and drop system, as well as the different challenges of urban and rural verges.
There were 189 pathfinder pilots of which 80 were lost from the project, some due to adverse public response. 60 – 70% of respondents were in favour although there was some disagreement. Other uses of verges included Britain in Bloom schemes and cultivation licences.
The project showed that there were not cost savings to the cut and collect system, attendance on verges was broadly the same and litter picking resources were increased and the average machinery could not be used on all verges. The key issue is what to do with the grass collected with all of the options identified having disadvantages. The pathfinder council took the option of integrating the grass collected into their green waste collection which led to increased costs. A draft policy will now be developed presented to the group in due course.
That Suan be thanked for her presentation and attendance.
A draft Nature Recovery Declaration as circulated, the principle of which was supported by members. It was suggested whether previous work in the this area or similar declarations from other boroughs across Derbyshire or the DWT be investigated.
That the declaration be noted pending investigation into the work of other areas.
Climate Change Annual Report - verbal update
The Climate Change Officer was awaiting data for the final draft of the Annual Report which would be amended and circulated to members via email.