Saving the small things that run the planet

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Flowers and chimneys at Canvey Wick

Claudia Watts

New development can cause loss of habitat and impact both positively and negatively on our wildlife. When a development is designed and its impact on our wildlife and countryside assessed, the specialist needs of rare and endangered invertebrates are frequently overlooked. As many of these bugs are on the brink of extinction, just clinging on at a handful of sites, this can have a serious impact.

Buglife is trying to change that. We are campaigning for invertebrates and their protection to be given more consideration during planning decisions. A benefit of this is that securing development good for bugs will help our other wildlife too. 

What we do:

To try and defend our most valuable sites for bugs and help prevent species extinctions, we take on a few planning cases per year. Recent examples include West Thurrock Marshes and Safeguard the Cairngorms campaigns. This is usually when a site of national importance is under threat from development and the survival of a rare species is threatened.

Greg Hitchcock

West Thurrock Marshes, a campaign to protect wildlife rich brownfield land from development

We also lobby local and national governments to ensure UK planning systems and policies protect the environment. We engage with and influence upcoming Government schemes such as Biodiversity Offsetting, or work to ensure that planning policy changes and revisions take account of invertebrates.

We also know that planning for invertebrates can seem a tricky and specialist subject so we have a series of ‘good practice planning guidance’ alongside a ‘community toolkit’ to make is easier to give invertebrates the protection they deserve.