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Biodiversity is the complete array of all living things, however large or small, and how these living things are intricately linked together often in relationships of which we are not aware. There are a great range of habitats, species and relationships found in Newtownabbey Borough Council area; from coastal shores to scattered woodland, the variety of farmland to our own back gardens; all are part of the fabric which makes up the biodiversity of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey.

Biodiversity is a principle issue within sustainable development ensuring that we can meet the economic, environmental and social needs of the present generation whilst meeting the needs of future generations.

We recently launched our Local Biodiversity Action Plan, 2023-2028, watch our biodiversity video or scroll down to read more.

Local Biodiversity Action Plan

The Council have recently launched the Borough’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan. It outlines how we’re working towards protecting biodiversity across our Borough, particularly at a time when the planet’s climate is changing, and the challenges that it brings.

 The plan has local priority habitats and species, along with actions required to ensure their ongoing protection and enhancement within our Borough.

Download the Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Local Biodiversity Action Plan

Threats to Biodiversity

Threats to Biodiversity

The biggest threat to biodiversity, is the loss of our natural habitats and the fragmentation of existing habitats into smaller pockets.

To meet the demands for our increasing human population, has required us to replace natural habitats with land that is used for agriculture, housing, leisure activities, commercial units and industrial complexes. 

Other key threats to our native biodiversity, besides pollution and climate change (whereby many species do not have time to adjust), is the presence of invasive non-native species. A few have become known as ‘invasive’ as they thrive and out-compete our native plant and animal life, for example, Grey Squirrel, Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed.

Further introduced species have been found to carry diseases against which our ‘natives’ do not have a natural defence. This includes the importation of ash trees from outside Europe, which carry a fungus called Ash Dieback. 

Download the Local Biodiversity Action Plan

What can you do to help Biodiversity

Council see education and awareness as an important tool both within and outside the organisation, to promote the need to conserve biodiversity and help to inspire public understanding and voluntary activity.

Help us become a more biodiversity-rich Borough. We will continue to engage with our local community groups, schools, the farming community, and businesses, to encourage you to make changes that benefit our local biodiversity. Keep an eye on antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/events

Library Seed Scheme

We’ve teamed up with the Library Board to introduce a Seed Scheme for library users across the Borough.

The aim is to encourage residents to cultivate wildflowers in their gardens, creating habitats for our pollinators and insects. These flowers will offer shelter, breeding grounds, and food in the form of leaves, pollen and nectar. Vibrantly coloured wildflowers will serve as a food source for insects and invertebrates, such as hoverflies, caterpillars and bees, which will, in turn provide nourishment for birds.

The free seed sachets are available from the following libraries:

  • Antrim
  • Ballyclare
  • Cloughfern
  • Crumlin
  • Glengormley
  • Rathcoole
Download the Local Biodiversity Action Plan
What can you do to help Biodiversity

Habitat Action Plans