Conserving biodiversity in the city

Conserving biodiversity in the city Image

City Councillors will be updated on the steps taken to further the conservation of biodiversity across Dundee.

The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 legally requires public bodies in Scotland to produce a publicly available Biodiversity Duty Report every three years.

The new report details how Dundee City Council has progressed and completed actions to safeguard biodiversity and encourage community interest in the local environment between 2021 and 2023, guided by the city’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

Action has focused on ecosystems, habitats and species most in need and has ensured the prioritisation of resources at a local level.

Climate, Environment & Biodiversity Committee Convener Heather Anderson said: “I’m very proud of this Biodiversity Duty Report.  It showcases the wide ranging and important work the Council and our community partners are undertaking across the city to safeguard our natural environment and green spaces.

“Officers, communities and volunteers have worked tirelessly over the last couple of years to address biodiversity loss and improve access to nature and natural spaces for all Dundonians. We also now know that everything we do to protect and promote nature in our city also helps us combat the impacts of climate change.

“Through widespread tree-planting we are creating bigger, better, more diverse and more connected woodland within Dundee, which has a positive impact on carbon storage and leads to greater resilience to climate change.

“Everything from sand dune restoration to grass and flower planting which supports the bugs, bees and beasties we all rely on and a whole host of other actions, helps us strengthen nature networks across the city. This is not only good for nature. It’s good for us.”

Highlights within the Duty Report have included:

  • The planting of 28,000 native trees in Spring 2023 adding a significant area to the woodland habitat within Dundee. A successful application to the Nature Restoration Fund led to the £300,000 project creating 12 hectares of native woodlands at Riverside Nature Park, Balgay Hill and an area adjacent to Clatto Country Park;
  • Through tackling the Ash Dieback fungal disease, a GIS-based tree management platform has been developed containing a two-year survey of 3,200 ash trees on council property in the city. Dundee City Council is leading the way in Scotland on this work, and has identified £400,000 for subsequent survey and felling contractor services to successfully manage the disease;
  • The £1.2 million project to transform an area of Camperdown Park into the Camperdown Growing Hub, a functional food growing area, was realised in 2023 with the completion of its ‘climate-friendly’ building;
  • In addition to existing meadows in park and greenspaces, EDEN have established 3.3 hectares in Council-owned spaces, the Broughty Ferry and Monifieth Active Travel Project also includes the creation of 3 hectares of native coastal grassland. Over 50,000 native bulbs have been planted, as well as 10,000 pollinator-friendly allium bulbs;
  • Building on the success of previous reporting periods, the Council has reduced its herbicide usage by a further 45%, achieving an overall reduction of 65% since 2018;
  • Community engagement has been an important part of delivering on biodiversity action with over 4,000 hours of greenspace volunteering completed, 1,800 schoolchildren visited greenspaces, 50 hours of STEM teacher-training was delivered, and 169 litter picks were carried out by communities and volunteers;
  • The work carried out also received wider recognition as the Council received the Wright Sustainability Trophy, Bonnie Dundee received the Beautiful Scotland Gold Medal Award, while seven Green Flags, a Scotland’s Beach Award, and Dundee groups received It’s Your Neighbourhood awards during this period also.

Dundee City Council’s Biodiversity Duty Report for 2021-2023 will go before the Climate, Environment & Biodiversity Committee on Monday 20th November.

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