Buckinghamshire’s natural environment is the foundation of our health, prosperity, identity and heritage. It boasts varied landscapes – from the low-lying farmland of Aylesbury Vale, the floodplain grasslands of the Upper Ray Valley, the ancient woodland, chalk grasslands and internationally important chalk streams of the Chiltern Hills, and the streams and rivers that feed the River Thames.
But nature is highly fragile, and while Buckinghamshire’s countryside may look green and pleasant, it disguises dramatic declines in species’ diversity and abundance. Nature is declining at an unprecedented rate, with 41% of species having declined in the UK since 1970. These include some of our best-known wildlife such as skylarks, yellowhammers, water voles, hares, hedgehogs, frogs, and toads.
To address the alarming declines of nature, we need a bold new strategy that paves the way for nature’s recovery, which draws on work already done locally, such as through the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership, and gives a voice to the people who live and work in Buckinghamshire and to those who farm and manage the land.
Buckinghamshire was chosen as one of five areas in the country to trial the development of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS). LNRS are a new way of helping nature, by identifying which characteristics are most important at a local level to focus action and investment. The aim is to help nature and people flourish together. Ultimately, these local strategies will form part of a national Nature Recovery Network – creating improved, joined-up, wildlife-rich places which will benefit people and wildlife.
In early 2021, we engaged with stakeholders to help shape our Local Nature Recovery Strategy pilot. Whether it’s wildflowers for pollinators, more trees to fight climate change, more green spaces in our towns, or a habitat or species you’re passionate about – we sought your input to create a shared vision for nature’s recovery over the next 25 years.
This will not be the end of our engagement with you – in fact it will be just the beginning. The outputs of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy pilot have now been published (see link below) and we will continue to work more with stakeholders to finalise the Buckinghamshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are a flagship measure in the Environment Bill. These are plans that will help drive more coordinated, practical, focussed action and investment to help nature and people flourish together, whilst delivering wider nature-based environmental benefits.Read More