THE updated biodiversity duty plan has been approved by Neath Port Talbot Council’s cabinet.

The plan for 2023-26 is a blueprint for conserving and enriching the wealth of nature thriving in the county borough.

The county boasts an array of habitats and species, from marshy grasslands which host the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly, to ancient woodlands sheltering the elusive Honey Buzzard and the extremely rare Blue Ground Beetle.

There are also lowland wetlands and canals and coastal dunes and saltmarshes bordering Swansea Bay along with upland peat bogs, stretching into Rhondda Cynon Taf, painting a vivid picture of the region’s ecological diversity.

The county borough has:

  • The only population of Fen Raft Spider, Ox-tongue Broomrape and Blue Ground Beetle in Wales.
  • 21 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
  • One of the best bat sites in Wales as Margam Country Park boast 14 different species of the mammals.
  • 21 UK Red Listed birds currently breeding in Neath Port Talbot.
  • 950 hectares of protected land.
  • Many rare and vulnerable plants including Deptford Pink, Sea Stock and Basil Thyme.
  • The Shrill Carder Bee – one of only five areas in the UK to be home to the rare species.

Cllr Wyndham Fryer Griffiths, the council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, transport and connectivity, said in a foreword to the plan: “Engagement with nature has profound benefits for wellbeing and the council takes great pride in offering such accessibility to nature for its residents.

“In 2021, the Welsh Government declared a nature emergency and the NPT Local Nature Partnership confirmed that UK and worldwide declines in biodiversity are mirrored in NPT. Special habitats and species in the region are under various threats, from habitat fragmentation to deteriorating conditions.

“That made it even more important for the council to pledge its unwavering commitment to protecting and enhancing biodiversity while carrying out its responsibilities, contributing to nature’s recovery.”

The plan aims to improve on the achievements of the previous biodiversity duty plan (2020-2023) in safeguarding and enhancing the county’s unique and diverse habitats and species. The full plan can be seen at

The cabinet commended the plan on Wednesday, November 8, and will be put before full council later this month.