Herefordshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy
What is a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS)?
In 2021 the UK Government introduced the Environment Act, which operates as the UK’s new framework of environmental protection. The Act specifies that local bodies take responsibility for restoring the environment within their locale, working with local groups and the local authority, drawing on ecological insights and finding natural solutions that improve biodiversity. This approach needs to be captured within the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS).
This strategy is aimed at reversing the ongoing decline of nature and biodiversity in England, through practical and coordinated action of the implementation of the Nature Recovery Network on a local level.
In its capacity as Local Authority, Herefordshire Council is the designated ‘Responsible Authority’ for the Herefordshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
Purpose of the LNRS
The purpose of the LNRS is to draw together existing information on the current state of nature and the environment within the designated strategy area (Herefordshire), and to work with local partners to develop and agree a strategy that explains the approach, the goals and intended outcomes. It should include the proposed practical activities and sustainable solutions that will be introduced to restore the biodiversity and ecological equilibrium to the region.
The LNRS is an effective mechanism that assists the design of ground-up local, tailored plans, bringing together local authorities, statutory agencies, local partners and landowners to focus and take meaningful, joined-up action for nature’s recovery, and to monitor the impact and outcomes of those actions. In doing so, it invites the support and commitment of the local groups and communities in the caretaking and stewardship of the restoration programme, and maintaining the ecological gains and subsequent maintenance.
What the LNRS will include
Government guidance sets out the content for the LNRS:
- A statement of biodiversity priorities
- A local habitat map comprising baseline of sites with existing nature conservation value (designated sites including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves, Local Wildlife Sites and areas of known irreplaceable habitat).
- An opportunity map identifying new areas that could become of importance to nature conservation or which, once enhanced, could contribute to wider environmental benefits.
- A description of the strategy area and its biodiversity
- A description of the opportunities for recovering or enhancing biodiversity in the strategy area
- A list of priorities for recovering or enhancing biodiversity (taking into account the contribution that this can also make to other environmental benefits)
- Proposals as to potential measures relating to those priorities
Who will be involved
The formal LNRS work will be undertaken by Herefordshire Council as the ‘Responsible Authority’ through a Steering Group of stakeholders including:
- Natural England
- Environment Agency
- Forestry Commission
- Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
- Representatives from the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which sit partly within the County
- Landowner representation
- Herefordshire Biological Records Centre
The LNRS work will be led by the Council and the Steering Group. It will also draw in local stakeholders, conservation bodies, species and habitat recording groups and landowners as key partners in setting the strategy and delivering the actions.
How the process will work
The LNRS Steering Group has been formed and has begun to set out a formal structure through which the work will move forward.
How members of the public can get involved
As the Strategy develops there will be opportunities for public engagement in addition to specific engagement with a range of key stakeholders throughout the process.
General opportunities will be publicised widely including via the Council’s social media.
If you are a stakeholder (landowner, land agent, species or habitat recording group, etc.) and you wish to register your interest in a particular element of LNRS work please contact the team directly.
Email the team at: Naturerecovery@herefordshire.gov.uk