Five local authorities have been selected by the government to introduce Local Nature Recovery Strategies to kickstart a countrywide recovery of nature.
Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Northumberland and Cumbria will receive a share of £1m to set up ‘Local Nature Recovery Strategies’ (LNRS). These strategies will help to map out the most valuable sites for habitats and wildlife and identify where nature can be restored.
This could see the creation of wildflower habitats for pollinators, green spaces for the public or new woodlands and wetlands which are important for both healthy communities and for the fight against climate change.
The pilot schemes are hoped to enable local authorities to set out their local priorities for restoring and linking up habitats so that species can thrive and to create green spaces for local people to enjoy.
The government has said that the upcoming Environment Bill will go even further by requiring all areas in England to establish LNRSs.
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.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper added: ‘If we wish to have rich and abundant wildlife, more carbon captured in trees, soil and hedges, better protection from extreme weather and enough places for people to gain the wellbeing benefits of good quality green spaces, then we must invest in Nature’s recovery, and at scale.
‘National ambitions for Nature’s recovery will need to support local action and today is a significant milestone in doing just this. We look forward to working with our partners in these five areas to create bigger, better and more connected natural places to halt and then reverse the decline in our environment.’
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