Local Nature Recovery Strategy Overview

What is a 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. They will consist of:

  • A Statement of Biodiversity Priorities, which reflect stakeholder priorities for environmental outcomes, and the actions that need to be undertaken to achieve these outcomes.
  • A Local Habitat Map, which will identify the existing distribution of habitats and the location of areas already important for biodiversity, overlaid by locations considered suitable for delivering the outcomes and actions identified by stakeholders.

The strategies will be a statutory requirement of the upcoming Environment Bill. This means that local councils will be required to develop one when the Bill becomes law. Councils will then have to report on progress on the LNRS every five years.

For more details on the specific steps of the pilot, please download the Buckinghamshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy Pilot Overview document.

Photo: Peter Capstick.

What does the Local Nature Recovery Strategy Pilot involve?

Buckinghamshire Council is leading the development of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy Pilot, with the support of a Pilot Area Team, comprised of representatives from the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership, Natural England, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Chilterns Conservation Board, and the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.

The pilot is running from September 2020 – March 2021.

Pyramidal Orchid. Photo: Rhiannon Flemming.

The pilot involves the creation of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS), which will be evidence-based, locally-led and collaboratively produced. The LNRS will be co-owned and co-created by stakeholders in Buckinghamshire, therefore stakeholder engagement is a fundamental component of the LNRS.

In addition to this the pilot will also test how the LNRS sits within the local context and other local environmental spatial frameworks. For Buckinghamshire this includes (but is not limited to) the new Buckinghamshire Local Plan, the Chilterns AONB Management Plan, the emerging Biodiversity Action Plan ‘Forward to 2030’, the emerging Biodiversity Net Gain policies, Environmental Land Management, and the natural capital mapping that has been undertaken locally.

The pilot itself does not involve funding to deliver specific projects on the ground and in the community. The purpose of the pilot is to help test the process for production of a LNRS, whilst at the same time helping us shape a plan and gather evidence for where projects and funding would be best placed.

What will the Local Nature Recovery Strategy be useful for?

The Buckinghamshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy will be one of the crucial local delivery plans for the UK’s Environment Bill and national Nature Recovery Network. It will specify our vision for nature’s recovery in Buckinghamshire, our stakeholders’ key environmental priorities, and importantly actions that need to be undertaken to reach our goals.

The Environmental Land Management offer is the new way for government to pay farmers and land managers to deliver public goods such as clean air and water, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and thriving plants and wildlife. The Local Nature Recovery component of Environmental Land Management (ELM) seeks to support the delivery of locally targeted environmental goals. The LNRS provides the process and output for building these local priorities. An ELM Local Convener is working alongside the Buckinghamshire Pilot team supporting the alignment between the two policy areas and how these function on the ground with stakeholders. The LNRS will need to support farmers, land managers and advisers in the development of agreements and through effective stakeholder engagement and spatial prioritisation, and the Pilot team aim to deliver this.

By helping us to understand where the most effective places in Buckinghamshire are, it will support the recovery of nature. It will also help guide a future investment plan.

It will guide other important local and national policy initiatives, such as

  • the Buckinghamshire Biodiversity Accounting system to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain in planning
  • the delivery of the Local Nature Recovery component of Environmental Land Management

It will help us to influence and work closely with Government, before LNRSs are rolled out to the rest of the country.

It will also help us to attract future funding for environmental growth.

Photo: BBOWT.

Further details of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy Pilot

Please download the Buckinghamshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy Pilot Overview document for further information about the pilot.