Five pilot areas will test how the recovery of England’s landscapes and wildlife can be driven locally
Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Northumberland and Cumbria local authorities have been selected by the government today [Friday 14 August] to help kick-start nature recovery on a countrywide scale.
The selected authorities will receive a share of £1 million of funding to set up ‘Local Nature Recovery Strategies’ (LNRS) pilot studies to help map the most valuable sites and habitats for wildlife in their area and identify where nature can be restored. This could see the creation of wildflower habitat for pollinators, green spaces for people, or new woodlands and wetlands which are important for both healthy communities and in the fight against climate change.
The pilots will enable local authorities to set out their local priorities for restoring and linking up habitats so species can thrive, and agree the best places to help nature recover, plant trees, restore peatland, mitigate flood and fire risk, and create green spaces for local people to enjoy.
The forthcoming Environment Bill will go even further – requiring all areas in England to establish LNRSs. This will help bring a broad range of groups together – from farmers to businesses to local communities – to deliver priorities for nature recovery at a local and national level. The pilots will also help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of habitats for wildlife.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Coronavirus is shining a light on the importance of our natural world, and the positive impact nature can have on our health and well-being. These first pilots will be a key part of our green recovery and help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of joined up habitats that people can enjoy across the country.”