Independent councillors on Bath & North East Somerset Council are calling on the local authority to remain committed to its environmental and ecological pledges.
Councillor Karen Walker, who represents the Peasedown St John ward, chairs the council’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Panel and has been leading a cross-party group that has raised concerns about the loss of habitat and species extinction across the area.
She said: “Due to the lockdowns of the last 15 months, our natural environment has had a chance to rest. Pollution levels were at an all-time-low last year, wildlife was flourishing and many of us had the chance to appreciate the beautiful Somerset countryside a bit more.
“When lockdown restrictions are completely lifted though, our local ecological habitat faces all the previous challenges that it did before.”
The independent councillors are calling on the authority’s leadership to adhere to the Ecological Emergency Commitment that was declared last year, and not allow large planning developments to ruin or scupper local habitats.
Former Council Chair and veteran local Councillor Sarah Bevan (Independent, Peasedown St John) added: “As a community we need to be doing more to address species extinction, loss of habitat, plus soil quality and quantity.
“Appropriate areas for habitat restoration within Bath & North East Somerset also need to be identified, along with more space for tree planting and more education in schools about ecology, biodiversity and the importance of looking after our natural habitat.”
“Taking action now helps to protect our natural environment, wildlife and habitat for many generations to come,” added Cllr Walker.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has been contacted for comment.