Essex Biodiversity Action Plan 2011


The Essex Biodiversity Action Plan

2010 - 2020

A vision to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Essex

The Biodiversity Action Plan process has been in operation since the mid 1990s and has proven to be an effective way of working within Essex, developing practical projects on the ground with partners, and involving every sector and level of the community. From 2012 when Government launched its Biodiversity 2020 Strategy the original target based approach has been replaced with "Outcomes" to halt overall biodiversity loss, support healthy well-functioning ecosystems and establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better places for nature for the benefit of wildlife and people.

The Strategy is focused upon 19 Priority Habitat Types  and recognises that many organisations, local authorities or regional governments continue to use or reference local or historic national BAP targets and may continue to do so for planning and other purposes. Indeed, the new  National Planning Policy Framework makes explicit reference to such targets (where they locally exist) as part of the planning process. Where such local or regional BAPs can be clearly demonstrated as being of relevance to a local plan then these should continue to be a material consideration and are of relevance for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for specific developments. Equally, previous BAP targets (local, regional or national) provide a useful tool and guide against which to baseline and plan biodiversity delivery.

In Essex, the existing working arrangements with partners are so well established that it makes good practical sense to continue with them, and this will enable continuity with current on-going projects. The Action Plans listed below comprise the guidance for biodiversity work in Essex, and relate to the 19 Priority Habitats of the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, as well as the list of Priority Species and Habitats provided for in Section 41 of the 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act.

Key issues influencing biodiversity

  • Legislation, policy and planning
  • Climate change
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Large scale habitat restoration and creation

The Action Plans - by Habitat Group

Lowland Farmland

Arable field margins


Traditional Orchards  (and Essex Apple Varieties )

Lowland Dry Acid Grassland

Lowland Meadows

Lowland Heathland

Lakes and Ponds



Work on Rivers is being approached through Water Framework Directive and Catchment Restoration Fund projects. For details contact Mark Iley


Floodplain and Coastal Grazing Marsh

Lowland Raised Bog



Coastal Saltmarsh