On these web pages you’ll find information about Powys County Council's role in conserving Powys' biodiversity, both within our organisation and through our partnership work for the Powys Local Biodiversity Action Plan. You'll also find answers to some common wildlife-related enquiries below.
Take a look at the What is biodiversity? page to find out what we really mean by the term 'biodiversity'.
We recognise the importance of the landscape and wildlife in providing us with freshwater, food and fuel as well as income from tourism, opportunities for leisure, recreation and education, and supporting our general health and well-being. As a local authority we undertake activities that have a direct impact on species and habitats, such as managing publicly-owned land, planning for local housing and economic developments and maintaining and improving the road infrastructure network. Therefore, we have a significant role to play in conserving biodiversity, which is reflected in the statutory duty placed on all local authorities by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006:
‘Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity.’
‘Conserving biodiversity includes, in relation to a living organism or type of habitat, restoring or enhancing a population or habitat.’
As well as continually improving the way the County Council undertakes work affecting species and habitats, we’re also actively involved in partnership projects. This includes those designed to achieve targets set out within the Powys Local Biodiversity Action Plan and by supporting communities as part of the Powys Environmental Partnership (PEP). PEP works to enhance the environment for the people of Powys as outlined in the One Powys Plan.
For further information about biodiversity and the Powys Local Biodiversity Action Plan visit the Powys Biodiversity Partnership pages or see below for specific advice on some common wildlife-related issues.
If you have a question about wildlife on your allotment that isn’t covered elsewhere on this page or on the Powys Biodiversity Partnership pages contact the biodiversity officer.
(Please note that all enquires relating to the availability and location of allotments should be directed in the first instance to the appropriate town or community council or local allotment association, then to the County Council's Outdoor Recreation section.)
Bats and their roosts are strictly protected in law. Advice for both the public and professionals is available from Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust, including guidance for householders, undertaking remedial timber treatment in roosts, bats in churches, advice for developers plus legislation and licence requirements. The Bat Conservation Trust also gives advice via the National Bat Helpline. If you suspect that bats or a roost may be present or nearby, for example, where you intend to carry out structural works, erect lighting, fell or manage trees or create a considerable noise disturbance you should consult with the Countryside Council for Wales beforehand for advice onhow best to proceed.
If you need advice about bats in relation to a future or current planning application see below.
All birds, their nests and eggs are legally protected in Britain and some birds such as barn owls, receive additional protection whereby it is illegal to disturb the birds when on or near the nest. Advice for common issues relating to nesting birds (for example, nesting in houses, managing trees and hedgerows, etc.) can be obtained from the RSPB. See below if you need information about birds in relation to a planning application.
We control problem plants on land we own or are responsible for managing, e.g. road verges, but the responsibility for control of invasive plants on private land, including along watercourses, lies with individual landowners. The Weeds Act 1959 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) place legal requirements on individuals to ensure that certain problem plants are controlled to safeguard livestock and prevent further spread in the wild.
Information about the identification and control of common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare), creeping or field thistle (Cirsium arvense), broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) and curled dock (Rumex crispus) (covered in the Weeds Act) can be obtained from the Natural England and Defra websites.
For information about the identification and control of Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam, Australian Swamp Stonecrop and other non-native plants visit the wildlife section of the Environment Agency website. Further detailed advice about Japanese knotweed can also be downloaded from the Environment Agency business section. Gardeners may also find information from the Royal Horticultural Society useful.
Please use our reporting form to tell us about problem weeds on a road verge.
Cutting & laying - hedgerow management is the responsibility of the respective landowner or occupier, including hedges adjacent to a public highway or public right of way. Please use our reporting form to tell us about a problem with a hedgerow alongside a public road.
Removal - under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 it is illegal to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without permission from Powys County Council and the Development Control section of Planning Services should be contacted regarding all enquiries relating to Hedgerow Removal Notices. More information on the regulations and hedgerow conservation and management is available from the following websites:
High Hedges - the County Council may intervene in disputes between private landowners over domestic boundary hedges and trees but only if the High Hedge Regulations 2005 apply. If you wish to obtain advice or make a complaint under the regulations please contact the Development Control section in Planning Services.
The Communities and Local Government website has additional information about the regulations, resolving a dispute and making a complaint.
For problems with pest infestations contact Pest Control for advice on control and treatment. Please note that the County Council can only assist with certain types of pest problems.
For any specific biodiversity issues related to listed building consent, planning applications, planning decisions or enforcement of planning conditions please contact the Development Control section in Planning Services.
You may also find the following local and national wildlife guidance helpful:
'Bats Survey Guidance'
All requests for details of species and habitats recorded within a given area of Powys should be directed to the Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park (BIS), the county's local biological records centre. The County Council has a Service Level Agreement with BIS to supply us with the ecological data we need and we do not hold ecological records ourselves.
Additional information and advice about legally protected species or habitats, e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest, can be obtained from the Countryside Council for Wales. See also the notes on bats and birds above. For information on Local Nature Reserves and Roadside Verge Nature Reserves in Powys contact the biodiversity officer. Local Sites Important for Nature Conservation (SINCs) are known as Wildlife Sites in Powys and are assessed in partnership with the three Powys Wildlife Trusts who hold the specific details of all notified sites.
Verge management - for information about invasive weeds on a road verge please see above or you can report a problem about management of a verge here. Additional information about Powys’ network of Roadside Verge Nature Reserves (RVNRs) can be found on the Powys Biodiversity Partnership pages. Please contact the biodiversity officer if you need further information.
Dead animals on the highway - to report a dead animal on the highway please use our online reporting form.
If you have any other concerns or questions relating to the wildlife on road verges please contact the biodiversity officer.
Advice - Powys County Council does not have a dedicated tree officer and so we're often unable to provide specialist advice about tree health or dangerous trees under private ownership. If you have a concern about your own tree or that of one of your neighbours (who is not the County Council) you should seek expert advice from a qualified, experienced tree surgeon (arboriculturalist). Choose one that is familiar with the legal requirements concerning the presence of bats and nesting birds which are legally protected.
Tree management - this is typically the responsibility of the landowner or occupier. If you have a concern about one of the County Council's trees or a tree along a public highway you can report it here. For information about trees adjacent to public rights of way click here.
Protected trees - trees within town and village Conservation Areas or subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) will require consent from Planning Services before any work can be undertaken on them. If you need to find out whether a tree is within a built heritage area or subject to a TPO, or to report damage to a tree with a TPO, please contact the Development Control section in Planning Services.
Please note that Powys County Council is not directly responsible for works affecting trees and hedgerows carried out by:
Telephone: 01597 827599