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Secretary : Alyson Pirie

Habitat Action Plans

Species Action Plans



Last updated 2008


What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity describes the amazing richness and variety of life around us. It includes all species of plant, animals and other life forms, which amount to something between 5 and 30 million species globally. Biodiversity also covers the genetic variation within species and variation between ecosystems and habitats in which these species live. The term biodiversity does not just cover rare or endangered species but includes the wildlife familiar to us all in the places where we live and work.

Why do we need to conserve biodiversity?

Biodiversity affects our lives in so many ways that we often take it for granted. Natural habitats such as forests, heaths and wetlands are the Earth's life support system, cycling air, water and carbon, regulating climate and absorbing many of our poisons and wastes. Animals and plants provide our food and clothing, the houses we live in and the medicines we rely on. Wild animals and plants are beautiful and enrich our lives. Wild flowers in the hedgerow and birds in our gardens give us pleasure, and attractive green areas in towns and cities make them better places to live and work. However, we are losing our biodiversity at a frightening rate, and it is up to us all to do something about it.


The International Level

In response to concerns about loss of biodiversity expressed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, there has been much activity in 'biodiversity planning' across the globe. Over 150 governments, including the UK, signed a pledge (Convention on Biological Diversity) to take immediate action to halt the global loss of biodiversity. Many countries now have national Biodiversity Action Plans and are beginning the process of implementation.

The National Level

In the UK, Biodiversity: the UK Action Plan was produced in 1994 with an overall goal "to conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK and contribute to the conservation of global biodiversity through all appropriate mechanisms". The UK Biodiversity Steering Group was set up to prepare a detailed plan of action to achieve these objectives. There are now 45 national Habitat Action Plans and 391 Species Action Plans.

The Hull Biodiversity Action Plan

The UK Biodiversity Steering Group recommended the production of Local Action Plans, which should have two main objectives - to reflect and help implement the national priorities identified in the UK Action Plans, and to identify and address local priorities and local distinctiveness. The Hull Biodiversity Action Plan shows how we in our local area can conserve our own biodiversity and contribute to improving biodiversity on a global scale. It also attempts to link up with the biodiversity plans of the wider Humber sub-Region. As one of the partners, it is the intention of Kingston upon Hull City Council to adopt the Hull Biodiversity Action Plan as formal Planning Policy Guidance and its is hoped that other organisations will also adopt and commit to this plan.

Local Agenda 21

Agenda 21 also originates in the Rio Earth Summit. It is a world-wide programme stimulating sustainable development. Sustainable development can be defined as "development that meets our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs". If this is to be achieved, Agenda 21 will rely primarily on local action (i.e. Local Agenda 21). A wide-ranging programme of action is needed by local authorities and local communities throughout the world to achieve a more sustainable pattern of development in the 21st century. Biodiversity is one of the key strands identified in the Kingston upon Hull LA 21 Strategy.



'Natureplan' was published in 1995 as the first Nature Conservation Strategy for Hull. It is a non-statutory planning document that sets out the City Council's aims and intentions towards nature conservation, and identifies how the City Council will implement its duties to wildlife.

Natureplan introduced Hull's 'Green Network' (Map A). The built up areas of Hull are dissected by a strategic network of linear, semi-natural habitats including the River Hull, main drains and railway lines totalling over 70 kilometres in length. These features support a remarkable diversity of habitat types, plants and animals and form the basis of the Green Network. The Green Network links the strategic linear features with Sites of Nature Conservation Interest and key open spaces, forming a giant network. This has the potential to allow wildlife to move freely amongst urban green spaces and into and out of the City. The Green Network has been incorporated into 'CityPlan' (July 2000), the City's land use development plan.

Natureplan was reviewed in 1999 and the need for production of a more comprehensive Plan for the habitats and species of Hull was identified. The Hull Biodiversity Action Plan aims to build on Natureplan and hopes to encourage some action towards improving the wildlife our city.

The Hull Biodiversity Partnership

In 2000 a partnership of organisations and individuals was established, developed from the former Natureplan Partnership. Its aim was to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for Hull. The Partnership has a very broad membership, ranging from large statutory organisations to small local interest groups. Over a period of two years the Partnership has worked to identify the important habitats in Hull and a range of species for which targeted action can be carried out.

Wider Partnership

The Action Plan has been produced after extensive consultation. Kingston upon Hull City Council (KuHCC) has facilitated its development, but the Action Plan should not be considered exclusive to any one organisation, nor can its full implementation be achieved by any one organisation. This document should therefore form the basis of activity for many different groups. The challenge is for everyone in the City to consider how they can play their part. We are inviting a wider partnership for interested people.

Selection of Habitats and Species

The partnership selected 8 habitats and 25 species to be included in the plan. Some of the species are of national priority, others are important in the local context or as indicators of the health of habitats.

Habitat Action Plans

Estuarine Habitats
Fresh Water Habitats
Gardens and Allotments
Industrial Land
Parks, Golf Courses and Cemeteries
The Built Environment
Trees, Scrub and Hedgerows

Species Action Plans
Bee Orchid Linnet
Brimstone Butterfly Mute Swan
Common Blue Butterfly Pipistrelle bats
Common Lizard Reed Bunting
Common Toad Saltmarsh Snails
Cowslip Skylark
Dragonflies Song Thrush
Elm Trees Spotted Flycatcher
Great Crested Newt Tree Sparrow
Harvest Mouse Wall Ferns
Hedgehog Water Vole
House Martin Yellow-wort


The Plan includes targeted actions that partners have agreed to carry out. These actions are set on a number of timescales:

  • Short-Term targets should be achieved in the next two years.
  • Medium-Term targets should be achieved in the next five years.
  • Long-Term targets should be achieved within ten years.
  • Ongoing actions should begin straight away if they are not already happening and should continue until reviewed.
Each Habitat and Species Action Plan contains a 'What we can all do' list of suggested actions that everyone could potentially carry out.


Publishing a Biodiversity Action Plan is only the start. To result in real change the proposals must be implemented. It is intended that the Biodiversity Action Plan will be implemented over 10 years with a first review after 5 years. The Hull Biodiversity Partnership will continue to oversee and monitor the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan in partnership with everyone currently involved in the process and those who will become involved in the future.

The Hull Biodiversity Partnership will review the Species and Habitat Action Plans. Review will consist of measuring achievement of targets and identification of new targets. The Action Plan will be revised and updated in the light of the review results and any relevant changes in circumstances and/or additional information which becomes available during the review period.


The Hull Biodiversity Action Plan has been prepared by the Hull Biodiversity Partnership

  • Bransholme Green Enterprise Project
  • Butterfly Conservation (Yorkshire)
  • City of Hull Environment Forum
  • East Yorkshire Bat Group
  • East Yorkshire Birdwatchers
  • English Nature
  • Environment Agency
  • Friends of the Earth (Hull)
  • Hull and East Riding Organic Gardeners Association
  • Hull City Services
  • Hull Natural History Society
  • Hull Valley Wildlife Group
  • Kingston Environment Group
  • Kingston upon Hull City Council
  • North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Hull)
  • University of Hull
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Technical author : Bethany Marshall

A wide range of organisations and individuals has taken part in the production of the Hull Biodiversity Action Plan. The Hull Biodiversity Partnership gratefully acknowledges the support and assistance given by all those involved.

The Hull Biodiversity Partnership wishes to acknowledge the primary financial support of English Nature and Kingston upon Hull City Council. Donations from British Aerospace, Environment Agency, Friends of the Earth (Hull), Humbrol Ltd and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have also assisted greatly with the production of this plan.

Thanks to Terry Jennings, Roy Lyon, Jon Capel and Richard Middleton for photographs and transparencies. Additional photogrpahs were kindly provided by Peter Wakely, Paul Glendell and Geoff Higginbotham from English Nature. Line drawings illustrations were also supplied by English Nature.

Thank you to Rob Harrison for technical assistance and support with production of maps, and Grant Cairns for designing the Partnership logo.

Thank you to all those who responded to the consultation with new information, corrections and suggestions. We would particulary like to thank Richard Broughton for extensive information on the birds of the Hull area. We would also like to acknowledge the advice and shared experience of our urban biodiversity network contacts throughout the UK.