Introduction

The term Biodiversity means ‘variety of life’ on earth. It includes all living organisms including species, ecosystems and genetic diversity. Biodiversity is fundamental for the earth’s life support system.

Somerset has some outstanding wildlife areas including:

  • 45 miles of coastline
  • 1 National Park
  • 4 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • 11 Special Areas of Conservation
  • 2 Special Protection Areas
  • 11 National Nature Reserves
  • 124 Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • 2312 Local wildlife sites

Somerset’s wildlife heritage also includes a large number of other rare habitats and species, so it is important for us to protect them.

Like other public bodies we have a statutory duty to conserve biodiversity. To carry out this work we work in partnership with other organisations, voluntary groups and local communities on projects to improve and protect Somerset’s wildlife.

Examples of some of the ways in which we work to conserve biodiversity are shown in the other parts of this page.