A significant number of local Biodiversity Action Partnerships are now in existence and their primary purpose is to focus resources by means of local partnerships to implement conservation action for the priority habitats and species and locally important wildlife and sites. All of these partnerships have published local Biodiversity Action Plans/Strategies, the content of which are informed and guided by national targets so that their implementation is firmly linked to national priorities. However, the plans also seek to reflect the values of local people and provide a focus for local initiatives and are important elements of the Community Strategies being prepared by Local Strategic Partnerships to further the wellbeing of their local areas.
There are 24 Local Biodiversity Action Partnerships (LBAPs) in the South West Region. These range in scale from whole counties (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire) to individual unitary authorities and districts (e.g. South Somerset, Taunton Deane, Swindon, Torbay) or cities & towns (e.g. Bristol). Due to the differing scales and specialisations of these LBAPs many plans overlap both spatially, as is the case with Avon and Bristol, and technically, in terms of shared aims and objectives. Many LBAPs aim to protect similar habitats and species occurring in the region. The differing approach taken by Local BAPs can be compared by consultation with the habitat menu. Some local partnerships have a dedicated officer co-ordinating the partnerships and facilitating the work required to deliver action on the ground. It is strongly evident across the country that more is achieved through partnerships where co-ordinators are in post.