Biodiversity in West Lothian
Although West Lothian is an urban dominated environment the diversity and quality of its countryside and urban areas is important in the context of sustainable development and its communities.
As a consequence, environmental pressures and threats are priority issues in relation to policy and services. The council's commitment to sustainable development through its Local Biodiversity Strategy adopted in 2005 (which continues to be relevant), and its role in addressing issues such as climate change, pollution, waste management, transport and biodiversity, are reflected in its strategic and service delivery responses.
Scottish Biodiversity Duty
Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), all public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to provide a publicly available report, every three years, on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty. The first report was due to be published by 1 January 2015 covering the period 2011-2014 with the next update produced in January 2018 (see links below).
The Scottish Government published "Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands" in 2004 which aims to "conserve biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and well-being of the people of Scotland, now and in the future". This Scottish Biodiversity Strategy was updated in June 2013 with the "2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity". This update to the Strategy reflects international commitments and the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2020. It focuses on the desired outcomes for 2020 to halt the loss of biodiversity in Scotland and to restore the essential services and benefits to society that a healthy natural environment provides.
The first West Lothian report on its biodiversity duty from 2011-14 is:
Scottish Biodiversity Duty 2011 - 2014 :
The second West Lothian report on its biodiversity duty from 2015-17 is:
Scottish Biodiversity Duty 2015 - 2017 :
Find out how we are improving
For more information, see the specific webpage relating to Linlithgow Loch
This important area of lowland raised bog is situated adjacent to the towns Wood Park on the west side of Armadale. It is owned by West Lothian Council. Scottish Natural Heritage, through it's Peatland Restoration Programme funded a Management Plan and associated initial works through a contractor. The council, through volunteer involvement from "Beech Brae" at Blackridge, continue to address the actions in the Action Plan.
Black Moss Management Plan
West Lothian Council adopted Planning Guidance, 'Planning for Nature' in April 2020. This document provides guidance and sets out requirements for developers and agents on wildlife, natural heritage and biodiversity issues to take into consideration when formulating proposals for planning applications.
Scottish Planning Policy (SPP 2014) seeks to protect, enhance and promote Green Infrastructure, including open space and green networks as an integral component of successful placemaking. When formulating proposals for planning applications, applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN)'s development plan policy. The principal policy of this document is that green infrastructure is integral to placemaking underpinned by the qualities of successful places and therefore must be part of the design process from the outset, providing water management, habitat enhancements, access networks and open space.
Developers will be expected to demonstrate within their access and design statement that accompany major and medium sized planning applications, particularly on greenfield sites, that they have considered Green Infrastructure principles and outline how their scheme has responded to the Green Infrastructure issues raised.