Ecology and Biodiversity

Wildlife and biodiversity issues relate to the variety of plants and animals that exist within Essex. Essex contains several valuable and rare habitats, from coastal saltmarshes and mudflats to ancient woodlands, trees and wetlands.

All councils within Essex have a duty to ensure that these environments are managed and maintained, where it owns them or carries out activities that may affect them. It aims to ensure that the diverse array of plant and animal life across the county is protected, managed and recorded so that future generations will be able to enjoy them.

There are a number of countywide schemes and initiatives designed to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Essex. The following projects and initiatives target specific subjects and issues relating to wildlife and biodiversity and should be considered as part of the preparation of any development.

The Essex Biodiversity Validation Checklist 

This checklist is required for all planning applications and offers guidance on how to submit the appropriate level of information about biodiversity when making a planning application. The document also includes a set of helpful FAQ’s which provide useful guidance around further evidence that may be required. 

Special Verges Initiative 

Special verges provide an invaluable habitat for wild flowers and other native species across the county with over 100 sites across the county have been designated as Special Roadside Verges Essex County Council works with a range of partners to maintain and improve these important resources.

Local Wildlife Sites 

The Essex local wildlife sites website ( provides information and advice for the 1600 local wildlife sites (LoWS) within the county. Working in partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust and a range of organisations, the LoWS project identifies and surveys sites, provides advice on available grants and assists in carrying out essential works on these vital ecological resources.

Essex Biodiversity Project

As part of it’s commitment to wildlife and biodiversity, Essex County Council plays an active role in the Essex Biodiversity project. The Project brings together a range of organisations to protect and enhance wildlife, improving the variety of life in the Essex area by implementing the Essex. 

Biodiversity Action Plan

The Project publishes information leaflets on species, provides educational resources, assists with planning and community strategies and works with volunteers, alongside a range of other activities. Through the Essex Biodiversity Project website, you can access the full range of services on offer.

Page updated: 24/11/2020

Make the most of the Essex Design Guide, register today

As well as ensuring you are always in the know about future changes and updates to the Essex Design Guide, registering with us will enable to you to add and manage bookmarks throughout the site, so your most-used areas of the guide are always easy to find.

Register for updates

© 2024 Copyright Essex County Council. All rights reserved.