Belfast, Northern Ireland Local Biodiversity Action Plan

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Belfast, Northern Ireland,

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

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Biodiversity is the total variety of life on Earth.

It includes everything from people to plants and animals to micro-organisms and it also covers genetic variation and habitats.

Belfast's Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) is a way of encouraging people and organisations to work together to deliver action for biodiversity locally.

Everyone can get involved and everyone can play a part.

About the Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Image: Front cover of Local Biodiversity Action Plan Although many animals and plants live successfully alongside humans in Belfast, some species have declined dramatically in recent years.

We need to take action to protect and enhance biodiversity in Belfast.

Our Local Biodiversity Action Plan aims to:

  • conserve national and local priority species in Belfast
  • raise awareness of biodiversity in Belfast
  • get people involved with biodiversity
  • develop biodiversity partnerships.

Biodiversity and Belfast
Image: River Lagan and surrounding woodland Belfast's unique, natural setting provides a diverse range of habitats for wildlife.

The city is framed by hills - to the north and west lie the Belfast Hills and, to the east, the slopes of the Castlereagh and Holywood Hills provide a more gentle backdrop.

The River Lagan meanders into Belfast, passing through suburbs on route and then into the heart of the city.

Valley itself contains semi-natural habitats such as wet meadows and marshes as well as woodland.

Within the Lagan Valley, you may see kingfishers or the elusive and rare red squirrel and other rivers, such as the Milewater, Collin, Forth and Connswater, provide valuable links for wildlife, especially birds and mammals, between the surrounding countryside and urban areas.

At the mouth of the River Lagan is Belfast Lough, a large sea lough that reaches into the industrial docklands.

It contains mudflats and lagoons which attracts large numbers of waders and wildfowl.

The low-lying central urban area of Belfast is a tightly-knit network of residential, retail and industrial buildings and is dotted with parks and open spaces, cemeteries, golf courses, school grounds, street landscaping and domestic gardens.

This urban environment is surprisingly important for wildlife.

Gardens are particularly vital and many species, such as swifts, have adapted to living in an urban environment.

Given this varied landscape, it is not surprising that Belfast is rich in wildlife.