September 20, 2008

Nature Gets Help From Planners

A DATABASE has been launched in Cumbria to help planners and developers gauge the impact of developments on the natural environment.

The Biodiversity Evidence Base for Cumbria (BEBC) is a new online resource which pulls together information on natural habitats, landscapes, geology and protected species.

It has been financed by councils in the county and the Lake District National Park Authority.

For the first time, there will be a detailed and up-to-date picture of the county's natural environment.

This has been made possible by groups such as the Cumberland Bat Group, RSPB, Save our Squirrels, Westmorland and Furness Bat Group, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Natural England providing specialist information and advice.

The system has taken more than 18 months to develop and includes information on key habitats and species in Cumbria.

As well as ensuring that new developments don't have an unduly detrimental effect on natural habitats, the information will also encourage developers to introduce wildlife-friendly measures into their plans

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