ECO-FRIENDLY Warwickshire County Council’s green credentials have been recognised nationally.
The council’s ecological services team scooped the prestigious Planning Authority of the Year title at this year’s Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) awards.
CIEEM is the professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and abroad, and the awards celebrate their work.
Warwickshire’s ecological team undertakes a range of roles, including ecological surveys, dealing with resident’s queries regarding wildlife issues and species identification, and managing the Warwickshire Biological Records Centre.
The team also works closely with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and nationally with statutory bodies like Natural England.
The award recognises the achievements made by the team on a national scale, including developing a tool with DEFRA which measures biodiversity loss or gain on development sites. The tool is now used throughout the country to help deliver biodiversity improvements and to provide a compensation cost for biodiversity loss.
Warwickshire environment spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “The county council prides itself as being the forefront of ecological thinking, finding new and innovative ways to lead on environmental policies.
“Warwickshire is an increasingly attractive place to live, with its strong economy and pleasant towns and villages, so we do need to look at developments.
“But this must not be done at the expense of our local environment. Our ecologists ensure that our growth is balanced alongside a sensible and responsible approach to the county’s biodiversity.
“The team works extremely hard to provide succinct, pragmatic and approachable ecological and environmental advice for wider local authorities and nationwide partners. Their commitment to seeking out innovative ways of improving our environment in Warwickshire and further afield deserves to be recognised and I’m incredibly pleased the CIEEM agrees.”