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Improving connectivity of habitats to increase resilience for biodiversity

Submitted by Tahia Devissche... 16th March 2011 16:49


Kent County Council worked with spatial planners, policy makers and scientists across England, France and the Netherlands to promote the importance of helping biodiversity to adapt to climate change through spatial planning. 

The process helped to identify reasons why biodiversity was not better provided for in spatial planning. Concluded that spatial planning has the ability to make strategic choices and bring in measures to assist biodiversity to adapt. Species studies provided evidence of the need for further action on reconnecting habitats in Kent, and the development of an ecological network in the county. Added to this there is recognition of the need to work across boundaries and with other organisations.

Key messages and learning outcomes

Project highlighted the importance of stakeholder input in developing spatial planning policy and decisions.

Adaptation outcomes

The project's recommendations, as well as detailed modelling and case studies provide useful evidence for integrating biodiversity and climate change adaptation into spatial planning policy for other local authorities, and have already been used to inform Local Development Frameworks amongst Kent's district authorities.

Enabling factors

European funded BRANCH project, the need to focus on planning for biodiversity within the context of the spatial planning system.

Natural England Lifescapes Programme.

Kent County Council's Climate Change Programme and NI188 progress.


Helen Forster, Biodiversity Projects Officer, Kent County Council, 01622 221468

Dr Sarah Anderson, Climate Change Project Officer, Kent County Council, 01622 221 979

Sarah Taylor, Senior Specialist Climate Change Adaptation, Natural England, 01273 476595