At a Horsham District Council Cabinet Meeting on 28 November, councillors approved a unique partnership between the Council and the Sussex Wildlife Trust. This will build on the already close working relationship between the two organisations.
The aim of the partnership is to ensure that the District’s natural environment is enhanced and protected so that it remains an attractive place to live, work and visit. It will work to reverse the decline in species and habitats across the District, as well as contribute to tackling and reducing the impacts of climate change.
The new five year partnership aims to:
• Help wildlife thrive across the Horsham District
• Create networks of land that are protected and enhanced for wildlife, allowing habitats to expand and species populations to increase, which will ensure that they are resilient to change
• Increase awareness of actions that communities can take to improve their local natural environment and the benefits that wildlife provides
• Maximise the opportunities from protecting and enhancing wildlife in tackling climate change and reduce the impacts of a changing climate.
A new project called ‘Wilder Horsham District’ will take a district approach to the wildlife challenges that sees species decline across our local landscape.
The proposed partnership supports the Council’s recently published Corporate Plan for 2019 to 2023, which sets out one of its major ambitions to prioritise the protection of our environment as we move to a low carbon future.
In June 2019, the Council committed to reducing its carbon footprint and working towards the national target of becoming carbon neutral.
Commenting on the new partnership, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Jonathan Chowen said:
“We really welcome this great opportunity for us to enhance the natural heritage and ecology of our District by teaming up with such a well-respected organisation as the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
“As a council we already have a strong track record of dealing with environmental matters, particularly in areas of biodiversity, and we have already built strong working relationships with many community members and partners to help us achieve this.
“But there is always more progress to be made. I see this partnership as a major commitment to reversing the decline of wildlife that has taken place over the last few decades.
“The partnership will need the further support of residents, businesses and landowners to achieve its ambitious aims.”
Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust Tor Lawrence said:
“Sussex Wildlife Trust are thrilled to be entering a long term and meaningful partnership with Horsham District Council.
“Together we will be developing a network of habitat for nature’s recovery throughout the District and working with local communities to get this done.
“We know it is going to be an exciting journey and we are looking forward to making a real difference for nature.
“We applaud Horsham District for recognising the current global ecological crisis and identifying that this really is a priority at a local level.”