Biodiversity in Torfaen

Torfaen is characterised by high quality natural habitats and contains areas of national and local conservation importance. There are four Sites of Special Scientific Interest, approximately 200 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation and seven Local Nature Reserves. The Afon Lwyd is an important ecological corridor in Torfaen alongside the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal.

Key habitats include ancient deciduous woodland, , wetlands, species rich grassland and heather dominated upland heath . Woodlands in general comprise approximately 5% of the total area in Torfaen with many examples of ancient woodlands in Cwmbran that are over 400 years old.

The Torfaen Local Biodiversity Action Plan (2003) details measures to be taken to ensure the county borough retains and enhances it rich and varied biodiversity. The plan, facilitated by the Torfaen Biodiversity Partnership, includes separate action plans for over 20 key habitats and wide range species in need of urgent conservation action. These range from iconic species such as lapwing, red grouse and otter to more the obscure dyers greenweed, pink meadow cap and the strangely named long winged conehead.

Biodiversity is a cross cutting theme for local government with strong links to all other sustainable development issues. There is a range of legislation including the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 that places a duty on all local authority departments to have regard for biodiversity. Further responsibilities are set with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

Torfaen Council is committed to ensuring it meets its obligation to the protection and enhancement of biodiversity within Torfaen. But the work of nature conservation cannot be delivered by the council alone. Many of those interested in protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of Torfaen meet as part of the Torfaen Biodiversity Partnership (insert partnership logo) to work together. This partnership has been in place since 1999 and is made up of a range of statutory and non-statutory organisations as well as interested individuals.

To find out more of how you and your organisation can help contribute to the objectives of the Torfaen Biodiversity Action Plan and its partnership, contact Steve Williams, Team Leader Ecology, Torfaen County Borough Council Tel: 01633 648256. Email:

Biodiversity Champion

The Welsh Government in their advice to all public bodies about the ‘Biodiversity Duty’ as set out in Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 recommends local authorities nominate a Biodiversity Champion’. It is the role of the champion to facilitate actions that conservation and enhancement of biodiversity.

In this regard Councillor Fiona Cross is the designated ‘Biodiversity Champion’ for Torfaen.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Ecology Team

Tel: 01633 648256

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