An ecological emergency has been declared by Bradford on Avon Town Council – and they may be one of the first to do so.

In March 2019, Bradford on Avon Town Council declared a climate emergency in recognition of the urgent need to negate the effects of climate change.

At last week’s Environment and Planning Committee meeting, deputy mayor Cllr Alex Kay and lead of the council, Cllr Dom Newton proposed that the declaration of a climate emergency be extended to include an ecological emergency.

Cllr Alex Kay, who championed the original climate emergency declaration said: “I am delighted to further our commitment to the environment by passing this resolution.

“The declaration of an ecological emergency supports action for wildlife and their habitats, irrespective of carbon-emissions.

“Flourishing biodiversity is a strong indication of clean air and water, whilst climate and ecology are intrinsically linked.

“Aside from our own species’ dependence on thriving ecosystems, seeing wildlife in our gardens and parks is also good for well-being and engages with young and old alike.”

After the meeting, Cllr Newton added: “We join a small handful of councils in the UK and worldwide to have taken this step and believe we may be the first of our level of government to do so.

“I hope that this important declaration inspires other councils and organisations to follow suit whilst noting that words must be backed up by policy and implementation on the ground.

As part of this step, the town council will organise a ‘Climate Action Day’ hosted by experts, to which the invite other local councils to attend to share ideas ‘to tackle this global threat’.

In support, chair of Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon, Rachel Berger, said: “The climate emergency cannot be tackled by reducing emissions alone; it is our economic system of seeing nature as a resource, rather than an essential part of the web of life of which humanity is just one species that has to change if humanity is to survive.

"I applaud the town council for taking this step of declaring an ecological emergency, and even more so for the various major initiatives it is has taken recently.”

The council will, with support from the Centre for Sustainable Energy, to help the carbon and ecological footprint of the town council.

The council will ensure that practices are consistent with the joint declarations and that instructions to suppliers and contractors are issued by the end of July.