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Biodiversity (short for biological diversity) means 'variety of life' on Earth. It covers a wide range of habitats and species.

Somerset West and Taunton has some outstanding wildlife areas.

Many are protected including:

  • 2 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – The Quantock and the Blackdown Hills AONBs
  • part of Exmoor National Park
  • the Somerset coastline from Hinkley Point to Countisbury
  • special areas of conservation
  • the Somerset Levels and Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site
  • sites of special scientific interest
  • local wildlife sites
  • ancient woodland

Like other public authorities we must conserve biodiversity. We work with other organisations, voluntary groups and communities on projects to improve and protect our wildlife.

Our work that affects our wildlife heritage includes:

  • planning applications (eg the change of land use from agricultural to residential or where converting old barns and buildings affects roost sites for bats or owls)
  • investigations into land drainage and the flow of water courses
  • agricultural development and the promotion of the Environmental Stewardship schemes run by Natural England