York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate declared wildlife haven by council

Bumble bee collecting nectar from flower
Image caption Harrogate's Valley Gardens features an area of planting designed to attract bees

Harrogate has been declared a wildlife haven by councillors in a move aimed at halting a decline in biodiversity in the town and surrounding countryside.

Borough council leader Don Mackenzie and cabinet member for cultural services Caroline Bayliess signed the declaration at a ceremony on Friday.

The document commits the council to consider enhancing biodiversity in all its decision-making.

The move was supported by the Harrogate and District Biodiversity Action Group.

The declaration states: "We understand the increasing impact that biodiversity decline is having on our communities and we commit to tackling the cause and effects of this decline in our local area.

"Through the declaration we are committing to consider enhancing biodiversity in our decision making and wherever possible make sure that our parks, gardens and land is managed in a way which is sympathetic to wildlife.

"We will also, through our corporate planning, supply relevant information on the progress of our actions to increase and enhance biodiversity within our district."

It was signed at the Nectar Bar, a specially-designed area of plants attractive to bees and other pollinating insects in Harrogate's Valley Gardens.

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