Local Nature Recovery Strategy
Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are an exciting new initiative coming out of the Environment Act 2021. All counties in England are required by law to develop a strategy to help nature’s recovery.
Each strategy must agree priorities for recovery and identify on maps the most valuable existing areas for nature as well as areas which could become of particular importance, or where the recovery or enhancement of biodiversity could make a particular contribution to other environmental benefits.
In close consultation across a wide range of communities; priorities and measures will be agreed to help create or improve habitat and achieve wider environmental goals.
The LNRS will be designed with opportunity in mind; it will have no power of enforcement but will help to identify areas for investment from both public and private sector funds to create a wider natural network based on well accepted principles for habitat and species recovery.
LNRS's will be important tools to help inform the local planning process and available for use in other policy contexts including around delivering local responses to the climate and ecological emergencies.
DEFRA have provided guidance in the development of the strategy and Somerset Council are required to work together with partners when preparing the LNRS. This will ensure an LNRS that is technically sound, evidence based and with the greatest potential for achieving its goals.
Overall the LNRS aims to:
provide a single vision for nature recovery and the use of nature-based solutions that all interested parties have been able to contribute to and work towards
build and strengthen local partnerships that will be important for carrying out the strategies
involve the people who own and manage the land, and the people who take regulatory decisions, so they can contribute to what action is being proposed, where and why.
How will this be achieved in Somerset?
Somerset Council is the appointed Responsible Authority for the LNRS.
The Local Nature Partnership plays a significant and crucial supporting role.
These steps will be followed.
1. Prepare - agree priorities, identify ‘potential measures’ (actions for achieving them) and explore initial locations for maximum impact and connectivity
2. Engage – LNRS leads and expert groups engage with a broad community to understand where and how in Somerset to create and enhance habitat for nature and environment and take other biodiversity-positive actions
3. Publish - finalise the strategy and make it available
4. Take Action - local partners work together with landowners, land managers, communities and business to identify opportunities to make an impact through implementation of the strategy and its key actions.
5. Review - recognise what actions have been delivered, including those not identified in the current strategy
6. Update - revisit priorities, potential measures and suitable locations, to reflect progress and changing circumstances to ensure the strategy remains relevant and ambitious
7. Republish - finalise the updated strategy and make it available.
We are currently at Stage 1 and have established a delivery team.
How do I get involved?
We want everyone in Somerset to have their say about the LNRS and the habitats and species it seeks to protect and enhance. Please look out for updates to this webpage as we will be publishing further details about the strategy and how to get involved in the near future.
How will the LNRS be used ?
The LNRS will help to attract several new funding streams.
It will provide local planning authorities and developers with information to enhance the planning system, including the delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain starting in November 2023, which is a new planning requirement to ensure habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development.
It will guide public and private investment, including through the new Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS).
It will support communities and businesses in their actions to protect and enhance Somerset’s land and marine environments, and the benefits we gain from them, such as health, access and learning.
When will the strategy be produced?
We are currently developing a plan for preparing the strategy, including how we will engage with stakeholders to produce a draft strategy, and making sure we have accurate information about nature and wildlife in Somerset. Our aim is for the strategy to be completed by the end of 2024.