Biodiversity guidance for planning applicants

Please find local information on biodiversity requirements for planning applications in Lewisham’s Biodiversity Planning Guidance.

Lewisham Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

The new Lewisham Biodiversity Action Plan was endorsed by Mayor and Cabinet on 3rd November 2021. 

Lewisham’s first Biodiversity Action Plan was written in a document called ‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham’ in 2007. The  document set out the Partnership’s aspirations for the immediate future regarding the conservation of nature across the Borough.  Progress between 2007-2011 can be found on the new BARS website or you can have a look at the summary spreadsheet produced by the Partnership. The BAP was then updated on 2015 and covered 2015-2020.

The latest update of ‘A Natural Renaissance for Lewisham‘ was ratified by Mayor and Cabinet in November 2021. The partnership’s past achievements can be viewed in the BAP and below in the quarterly reports.

We produce summary sheets of all the achievements of the partnership and this will be updated quarterly.

Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership

The Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership was established in 1999 to develop an action Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership plan for the Borough’s wildlife and natural environment. Presently, the Partnership consists of Lewisham Council, Glendale Managed Services, the Environment Agency, the Qwaggy Waterways Action Group, the Creekside Education Trust, London Wildlife Trust, Horniman Museum and Gardens and,  most importantly a range of local groups and individuals.  All these groups have an interest in conserving and enhancing Lewisham’s Biodiversity. The work of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership has operated in tandem with that of the London Biodiversity Partnership and has taken a considered approach in order that Lewisham’s Biodiversity Action Plan be visionary, pragmatic, achievable and inclusive. The group meets 4 times a year to discuss their achievements and issues that may have arisen.  A copy of the minutes of these meetings can be found below.

Lewisham Biodiversity partnership – minutes & meetings

The next Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership will be held on 19th or 26th January 2022 at 4pm via MS Teams. We will confirm the date in early January. Please contact Jess Kyle if you would like to get involved.

Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 13th October 2021

Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 14th July 2021

Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 20th April 2021

Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership minutes from 12 January 2021

For previous meeting minutes not listed here, please email Jess Kyle who would be happy to send them to you.

July – September 2021 Achievements

This quarter saw another increase in the number of events run by our partners. I think we were all relieved to be able to run sessions at full strength after various lockdowns an restrictions. Although we did start to see this increase in the last quarter, it really picked up again during the summer. A summary of these events can be seen in the table below.

Our Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership meeting had to be held over Teams again, but it was still wonderful to see so many people and to hear about all the fantastic things they have been doing! Please see the most up to date minutes and slide show for more information.

Highlights for the quarter:

 The Great North Wood project extension was successfully funded, this will include activities in 4 Lewisham reserves (Buckthorne Road, Dacres Wood, Devonshire Road and Garthorne Road)

Wasp spider egg nest found in BPP (photo ©Pedro Pires)

Successful bid to the Treescapes Fund – funding for tree planting and watering in 5 parks of the Borough: Durham Hill, Home Park, Horniman Triangle, Ladywell Fields and Sydenham Wells Park. Total of 195 trees will be planted including a community orchard and encouraging the natural regeneration of 5 oak saplings within the project.

 Lewisham Council, in partnership with Glendale won 15 Green Flags. Beckenham Place were also successful. The Borough also won, 6 Community Green Flags including 2 new ones at Dacres Wood and Garthorne Road. A fantastic achievement and a  big thank you to everyone involved.

Garthorne NR/Mitie volunteer session with first records of common toad, and Sparrowhawk spotted. F/O Garthorne website has photos.

Successful and fun First aid training for LewBP and parks groups.

First Aid

1 July-September 2021 outputs

April – June 2021 Achievements

The second quarter of the year saw a huge increase in the number of activities that the partnership was able to hold. It was fantastic to be able to work with all the Friends and volunteers in Lewisham’s green spaces again and I know that people were pleased to be able to get back to it.  Below is a summary of events held, but please see our spreadsheet for a full breakdown of events.

Sadly our Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership meeting had to be held over Teams again, but it was still wonderful to see so many people and to hear about all the fantastic things they have been doing! Please see the most up to date minutes and slide show for more information.

Output slide

Highlights for the quarter:

The Kenneth White Legacy Award will fund 17 bird boxes, 7 bat boxes, 3 wildlife cameras, a hedgehog house, planting a hedge, native plants and fruit trees to improve 9 sites for biodiversity in Lewisham.

3 Rivers Clean Up took place in May and June with 21 sessions organised by partnership members and involving 167 people, collecting 191 bags of litter and pulling over 5000 Himalayan Balsam plants (photo by QWAG).


Peregrine falcon pair nesting on St Paul’s Church in Deptford and other birds of prey spotted across the borough including tawny owl in Grove Park, and red kite and buzzard in Beckenham Place Park.

Friends of Hilly Fields published a booklet based on the monthly bird surveys they have been doing since 2007. The booklet includes information on 51 bird species and other useful information on Hilly Fields and birds. Please see further details here.

January – March 2021 Achievements

Hedgehog captured by camera trap in Dacres Wood Local Nature Reserve (photo by Caitlin Pennington)
Hedgehog captured by camera trap in Dacres Wood Local Nature Reserve (photo by Caitlin Pennington)

The first quarter of the year was a rather quiet one for the Partnership given Covid restrictions but activities have slowly started to return. Please find attached the BARs summary sheet for the quarter along with the minutes of the meeting on 20th April. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on any of these and please don’t forget to send Jess and Eszter your activities and biodiversity sightings so we can have an accurate record on what is happening in the Borough. Many thanks!

Highlights for the quarter:

Buckthorne Cutting Nature Reserve was awarded Locally Important Geological Site status by the London Geological Society.

Hedgehog captured by camera trap in Dacres Wood Local Nature Reserve (photo by Caitlin Pennington) – see above

Start growing your flowers as the annual Flower show returns to Beckenham Place Park on 1st August! There will also be an art show, a fun dog show, local traders and live music at the community event.

Red kite was seen flying over Ladywell Fields

Palmate newts were seen in Beckenham Place Park

October – December 2020 Achievements

Hope you are all keeping safe during the current lockdown and still manage to get out and about in your local green space for the daily exercise.

Thank you for everyone who joined us at our quarterly meeting on Tuesday. It was great hearing all the updates and that despite the lockdown and Tier 4 we still managed to organise 95 events and engage over 500 people, all of course in line with Covid guidance!

Highlights for the quarter:

Lewisham became 2nd at the annual Good Parks for London evaluation, an assessment of London boroughs’ park service against ten criteria. Lewisham scored highest for collaboration with local groups such as the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership. Thank you again for all your work and support, we couldn’t have achieved this result without you.

A buzzard was captured on video feeding in Devonshire Road Nature Reserve (photo by Nigel Kersey).

Brown argus was recorded in Sue Godfrey Nature Park for the first time (photo by Nick Bertrand).

Eels were found in the tray for the first time since the start of the Ravensbourne Riverfly Monitoring scheme in 2016 (video on Facebook).

The Horniman Museum’s Bee Garden won the Bees Needs Champions Award (photo from the Museum’s website).

The partnership’s achievements between October 2010 – December 2020

(Please click on the thumbnail of the period you are interested in. This will bring up a larger version of the image and there you will find a link to a word document for the achievements for that quarter)

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UK Biodiversity

This page sets out the history behind the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership and what they are doing towards Local and National Biodiversity targets. You will also find regular updates of interesting projects that our partners have carried out in the Borough along with quarterly achievements, along with ways in which you can get involved. Decade_logo

In 1992 the UK Government signed the Rio Convention and committed themselves to halting biodiversity loss.  In response to this the UK Government published the  UK Biodiversity Action Plan 1994.   This led to the production of 436 action plans between 1995 and 1999 to help many of the UK’s most threatened species recover.   A review of the UK priority species list in 2007 identified 1,150 species and 65 habitats that met the BAP criteria at UK level. For information up to March 2012 on the progress of local and national plans please visit the Biodiversity Action Recording System (BARS) website. This is an old website, but still has a lot of useful information on it.  Progress between 2007-2011 can be found on the new BARS website or you can have a look at the summary spreadsheet produced by the partnership.

Local Biodiversity Action Plans

There are 119 local biodiversity action partnerships and nine regional biodiversity that have been established across England.  This  has helped bring about a groundswell of activity and innovation to meet the challenges faced by our biodiversity.

The role of local biodiversity action plans

Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAP) identify priorities for biodiversity conservation at a local level.  They work to deliver agreed actions and targets for priority habitats and species and can focus on locally important wildlife and sites.  They aim to reflect the values of local people and provide a focus for local initiatives hope to further the wellbeing of their local areas.  LBAPs, including the one in Lewisham are delivered through wide local partnerships that involve wildlife organisations, local authorities, businesses and other interested parties.  More information about the achievements of LBAPs can be found at Natural England’s report, ‘The Achievements of local biodiversity partnerships in England.’The functions of LBAPs are:

    • To translate national targets for species and habitats into effective action at the local level,
    • To identify targets for species and habitats important to the local area, reflecting the values of local people,
    • To stimulate effective local partnerships to ensure programmes for biodiversity conservation are developed and maintained in the long term,
    • To raise awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation and enhancement in the local context,
    • To ensure opportunities for conservation and enhancement of biodiversity are promoted, understood and rooted in policies and decisions at the local level,
    • To provide a basis for monitoring and evaluating local action for biodiversity priorities, at both national and local levels

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8 thoughts on “Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership

  1. Hi,
    I was wondering if you could put me in contact with the relevant parties regarding speaking to someone to get advice and guidance regarding Lewisham Councils plans to build on shared communal green space attached to my building?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Please can you let me know which area of green space that you are talking about so that I can look in to this more. Once I know where this is, I can find out what is happening and who you should contact about this.

      Best wishes,


      1. THanks Jess, it’s a sort of shared garden for a block of flats at the end of Ermine Road postcode SE13 7jj it looks into Embleton road. Lucy

      2. Hi Lucy, I have had a quick look through Lewisham’s Planning pages and I can’t see anything. Are you sure that the application has gone in? The reason for looking is that there would be a planning office attached to the case and you would be able to contact them about it. You can have a look here or contact them here

        I hope this helps,


      3. Hi Jess,
        We are currently at the consultation stage. We have all written in response and are waiting to here’s back. Do you an email I can send the information to? I am hoping there is something that can be gone to save the green space.
        Many thanks

  2. Hi,
    I was wondering who I could contact/talk to about Lewisham councils plans to build on communal green space that my building shares in Ladywell. I am looking for advice and guidance, if you send me some contact details for the relevant parties that would be great.
    Many thanks

  3. Dear Councillor Robson,Lee Oasis is a local volunteer group based at the URC chruch hall in Lee. We recycle donated furniture, bedding and clothes free to people leaving the hostels at Mayfield and Ashlee, on Burnt Ash Hill, and other disadvantaged households around Lewisham and borders referred to us by the borough’s social services, Connexions, DIP etc.We have attracted grants to buy in reconditioned cookers and fridges, and pay for PAT testing of donated kettles and microwaves, and expenses for unemployed users wanting to put something back by volunteering themselves. All our services and goods are free. We now have 73 volunteers and our van runs three times a week, picking up and dropping off bulky items that don’t fit in private cars.This year we have been refused the a32,500 Faith in Lewisham Fund grant that covers half our core expenses (diesel, insurance etc) and may have to cut back our service as evictions and homelessness rise.I have only just heard about this Locality grant. Would we qualify, and are we too late??Please advise.Best wishes, Jay Sivell (Ms) for Lee Oasis committeePS Councillor Bentley knows all about us.

    1. Dear Jay,

      I am afraid I am not the right person to answer you question on this. If you contact the Localities Officer for your area, they should be able to help. You can find information about it here

      If you want to get hold of Cllr Robson and Cllr Bentley you would have to contact them directly because they do not have acces to this blog.

      Best wishes,


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